I am of the opinion don’t do something unless it is worth it to you. What irks me is when I am forced to do something I see as having no real value to me. Case and point, high school. I was forced to take two years of Spanish to graduate and I can only remember the most basic of sayings. All those hours of class time could have been better spent elsewhere where it would actually help me. I have no plans on ever living or even visiting a Spanish speaking country, so I resent the fact that I had to waste time and effort to learn it.
Another example is English classes. The last time I remember having a grammar lesson was in sophomore year. Freshman year was the last time it was a major part of the course. During my sophomore, junior, and senior years, I was forced to read books I did not want to read, some of which were absolutely atrocious. I love to read; I used to read about an hour and a half every day, but they were books I wanted to read. I have seen very little profit from taking junior and senior English, but what profit I did see is vastly outweighed by the time that was wasted sitting in class.
Coming to college, I had hoped to get away from meaningless classes. While certainly true, there are still a couple courses I am irked with. Mainly, those courses are the humanities section of the humanities and social sciences required courses. I based my picks for classes on those solely which are the easiest. Unfortunately, all the seats were taken five days prior to my registration. I was lucky and could switch around a social sciences course to fill the slot, but I am sorry for the poor chap who is being forced to take and pay for a course that will have no meaningful impact on his life or career.
Some of you may say it is to make us more well-rounded individuals, and others might say it gives us a chance to explore what we may like or dislike. Well, I knew I wanted to be in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics-related field my freshman year. I wish I could have taken more math classes and a broader range of sciences, but no, I was forced to take classes that haven’t helped me as much as the others would have. As to the well-rounded statement, I highly doubt my boss is going to ask me to draw a self-portrait. I understand there are more facets to the well-rounded statement and while I see the point of it, I don’t agree with the point.
Maybe I am still too young and naïve to realize how all of this will affect me in the long run, but at least it will be interesting to look back and see my thoughts at the time.