Difficult classes are branded all over campus as just that — harder classes. People will tell you not to take them, and any reviews you encounter will likely give them poor ratings as electives. Especially as a freshman coming into college, I was looking online to see which easy classes were available — and that was primarily how I chose my electives for first term.
In all fairness, many students opt for bird courses because transitioning from high school to college is a big adjustment, and they have no idea how they'll handle the workload. Having been through one semester of college, I can promise you that bird courses aren't all they're cracked up to be. Here's why you should at least consider taking more challenging classes.
1. An "Easy A" isn't always easy.
Yes, there may be no project work and only two exams. Yes, the professor may give out marks to the point where it feels like taking candy from a baby. Yes, there may be hardly any critical thinking required and only memorization. However, after taking a bird course last semester, I can tell you that if you're taking it just for an "A," the course will be more of a burden than anything. I had a hard time studying for this course last semester because I didn't like the content. I still did well overall, but you should always consider that what's easy for you may not be easy for someone else.
2. You're interested in it.
If you're interested in a class, take it! You shouldn't shy away from something simply because it's branded as a more difficult course. Your interest in a class will likely make the difference between your overall experience and performance in the course. I chose business as my major in the first place because I like it — and I did better in my tougher business classes last semester than my electives. Moral of the story: a more difficult class could actually boost your GPA.
3. It's more beneficial in the long run.
Taking a more challenging class will push you to think critically and work harder. Testing and developing your skill set is critical for employment opportunities. If continually challenging yourself becomes the norm, that puts you in a much better position for so many opportunities, since many jobs require you to think critically on a daily basis.
4. It prepares you for future classes.
In my junior and senior years of high school, I took challenging business courses to prepare myself for university. Those classes helped me develop a strong work ethic and constantly challenged me. The end result? Adjusting in first semester was not very difficult for me. It was rather smooth, and I finished my semester very strong. That very same logic applies in college, too: harder classes will prepare you for your future endeavours, and I can promise you that it will pay off.
5. You won't be bored.
Taking a class that constantly requires you to think and stay on top of your work will keep you busy and away from boredom. I don't mean that it should consume your life and draw your attention away from other classes, rather, a more difficult class will keep you on your toes and prevent you from falling into a bland pattern of repetition.
6. You may discover new abilities by testing your limits.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is good for you — it requires you to grow, not only intellectually, but as a person. Isn't the whole point of college to make us competent future employees? No one gets anywhere by staying in their comfort zone. Last term I had to write a case study that proposed a solution for a real life company. Was I intimidated by it? Yes. However, did I learn that I'm actually capable of writing a professional case? Also yes.
7. You develop a stronger work ethic.
Whether you like it or not, you'll need a strong work ethic in order to be successful in the workplace. The only way to go about developing one is by putting yourself in a position where you have to work. I'm not saying you should lose yourself over it by any means, but it's important to know that you can handle heavier workloads.
8. You'll feel amazing once you've finished the class.
Whether it's because you're finally done going to that dreaded lecture, or because you couldn't feel prouder over how you actually did well in that class, you'll feel great. Success is a wonderful feeling, especially when you've succeeded in something that you didn't think you could do. Kudos to you.
At the end of the day, taking a harder class could be much better than taking an easy one. From testing your abilities to preparing yourself for future jobs, difficult classes are key in developing a strong skill set. With that being said, if you end up in a class that isn't for you by any means, and you have genuine concerns about the content being taught, then talk to an advisor and consider switching classes. Harder classes aren't meant to consume your life — they're meant to enhance your education, and YOU as a person.
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