Earlier this March, I met with my advisor to make sure that I was on track to graduate. In my head, Spring 2017 was going to be my last semester before graduation. I had my list of required courses that I needed to earn my degree laid out in front of me and I had taken/was enrolled in all of them so I was sure I was just about ready to graduate. My advisor kindly told me that that was not the case. I have to take 20 credits worth of electives still.
I tried so hard to hold in my annoyance, but I’m sure my advisor could sense it. Why do I have to take electives to get a degree in something, that have very little to do with my degree? Didn’t I taken enough electives in high school? Taking electives is important in high school because you still need to figure out what you want to do with your life, but I know what I want to do and I wouldn’t of pursued my degree if I didn’t. Sure, I can take electives that have something to do with my major, but why does it have to be mandatory? I get that taking these extra courses will make me a more “well-rounded individual”, but shouldn’t wanting to be that be my choice? And why does becoming a “well-rounded” individual have to be so expensive.
I personally believe that colleges and universities that require students to take electives to earn their degree are doing it for their own interest – to make more money. I’m currently sitting next to my friend who I told about my dilemma. She told me about a similar story that happened to her friend who already has her nursing license via an Associates degree. To obtain her Bachelors degree in nursing at Bemidji State University, she would have to take a gym class to earn her degree. That is absolutely ridiculous to me. That gym class that she needs to take in order to graduate probably costs her close to a thousand dollars. And what the heck does gym have to do with nursing. She could do those gym activities she’s paying for, for way less than a thousand dollars, maybe even for free.
I had to take a math course last semester. I decided to go with Symbolic Logic because my advisor said it was the best for someone like me who doesn’t like numbers. It was the worst. I don’t remember anything I learned from that class because I hated it so much. My future career choices I know will not involve needing to know Symbolic Logic, or any other math course at that. I will most likely need to know basic math skills, which I learned in elementary school.
According to an article for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian written by Elise Martorano, “Combining the time devoted to them (electives), it can be concluded that students will end up spending roughly two whole semesters (one academic year) fulfilling them. This constitutes 25 percent of the four years typically allotted to an undergraduate education.”
It is hard to justify taking courses that will not help me in my career, especially with all of the debt I am racking up. I don’t think it’s fair to have to take course that cost an arm and leg to get my degree in something those classes have nothing to do with. I enrolled in courses that I knew would be interesting, but I’d much rather be finished. Keep the electives out of college. I am sure that I am not alone in this thinking.