College tends to become a bit stagnate once you get used to the flow of things. Especially if you are one of those people who is on a pre-determined path and isn’t willing to take the risks of exploring different classes because you are too scared of a poor grade. This becomes the plight of many during the college experience. However, this is the ideal time to be performing a little self-discovery in the classroom. Whether you’re going on your merry way on an already determined career path or are further along and just need to broaden your mind a bit, here are 5 reasons that everyone should take a challenging class:
Maybe there is a subject that has always interested you, but you’re too afraid to fail at it. Or perhaps, you’re too afraid that you would be bad at it and embarrass yourself. Classes like Art, Debate, Music, and Drama tend to intimidate some of us. But, how will you know how much you like a subject unless you’ve tried it? Taking one of these classes is a great opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself and your passions. You’ll never know if you don’t try.
Challenge a Belief
By taking classes that focus on things like Religion or Philosophy, you become forced to evaluate why you believe what you do. This scares a lot of people, but this is an important part of the self-discovery process necessary for college-aged students. For example, I grew up in a conservative Christian household, so I decided to take a Philosophy class taught by a rumored atheist. This ended up being one of the best classes I have ever taken. The experience challenged my faith and awoke in me a new-found appreciation and knack for Philosophy. I took two more Philosophy classes before finishing up my Associates degree. To this day, I still miss Philosophy, but feel like a more well-rounded and overall better person for having had the experience.
Challenge a World View
A lot of people wander through life mindlessly believing something because it corresponds to their narrow view of the world. Take a class that challenges that. Classes like Ethics, Gender Studies, and Cultural Studies can broaden your perspective and force you to back up why something should be a certain way, why some things need to change, or why it may not matter as much as you previously thought it did.
Challenge Your Skills
Remember when you were a kid and you thought you were “so good” at something…until you tried to compete with the “big kids”? Well, the same principle could be applied to something you think you may have a skill for as an adult. See if you’re as good at the thing you think you are by challenging it in a college level class. Sure, it could be a bit traumatic to discover that you suck at something, but the reality is that there are no downsides. Either you’ll have your skills confirmed or you will have a humbling experience that forces you to reevaluate your skillset.
Challenge Your Social Circle
College is when a lot of us officially decide where the next phases of our lives will go, both academically and socially. By taking a challenging class, you will be forced to not stick to the same people all the time. This way, you can be sure to meet people outside of your major and from different backgrounds than you. Also, this will force you to grow your network, make connections, and discover where you really want to end up.