General Education Requirements: What’s the Point?

Photo Credit / Ayanna Totten

Jordan Patterson

Opinion Editor

In college, we have so much going against us. 

A lot of stress and anxiety comes from all the things that we encounter as we make our transition from teenager to adult, and the universities we attend don’t help that. 

From student loans to copious amounts of homework, it can feel like college is designed more to break us than to make us. 

I can understand why schooling costs money and why we have to work so hard. However, I cannot understand the insistence on required General Education courses. 

All students should know that, unlike high school, your graduation year isn’t dictated by how long you’re in college, but by how soon you get your requisite credits. 

This is totally understandable, since you need experience to be a part of a workforce. 

However, we should not be required to take classes that have nothing to do with our field. 

Sure, we should be able to explore other majors, but if we’ve already chosen our field and know what we want to do, we should be able to focus on that instead of being required to take other classes. 

That’s like going to a sock store and they tell you that you need to go to several other stores to get an outfit to match before you can buy the socks. 

Why do I have to waste additional time and money when all I wanted was a pair of socks?

Now, I don’t mean to diminish the general education track altogether. 

I have no doubt that it has helped students, who were unsure of what they wanted to do, find their calling in life. 

I think for that reason it should always be an option for those who need it, but it should not be forced upon someone who already knows what they want to do. 

When students are tasked with studying and learning about things they aren’t interested in, it can lead to unnecessary stress. 

Yes, stress is a natural part of college, but I feel like making “Gen. Ed.” credits no longer required to graduate can reduce some of that stress. 

I think it’s the universities’ responsibility to cut down on the amount of stress on students, so that they can help their students build a brighter future for themselves. 

To me, this means letting the students who think that buying a pair of socks is the key to their happiness, leave the mall without a new outfit.

Email Jordan at:

jpatters13@live.esu.edu

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