One of the most common complaints I hear among college students regards taking core classes. The bemoaning typically goes along the lines of, “This *insert class title* is so dumb; why do I even need to take this?” Well, dear students, as someone who has taken those classes and also whined about them, I’m here to tell you that YES, you do need those classes, and YES, you can even apply what you learned in the real world! Let’s begin.

  1. Sacred Scripture

Because Gannon is a Catholic university, students are required to take a series of courses centered around religion. To those that don’t practice the Catholic faith, this may seem a bit unnecessary. However, throughout your life, you’ll encounter people of different religions, races and cultures. It’s important to learn about their background and beliefs; this can help us connect with one another. Especially given recent current events, truly understanding differences in religious beliefs can lead to accepting others around you. So study up, not just on Catholicism, but other religions as well!

2. Speech/Public Speaking

I absolutely hated this class. I hated public speaking. I would get nervous and blotchy and talk a mile a minute. This class taught me the importance of thinking about what I say before I say it, a skill that I use practically every day of my life (especially with my patients). Plus, in the real world, you will likely be required at some point to lead a discussion or in-service at some point. Learning how to speak publicly is a really useful skill to learn so that you’re not nervously sweating and puking in your mouth all throughout your presentation.

3. History of the Western World

American history courses, or any history courses, are essential to understanding the world around us and how our nation and world came to be. It also gives us reminders of what NOT to do. Learning the origins of our government and realizing its mistakes can guide us in the future when it comes to tackling issues. After all, “history repeats itself.” Additionally, I’ve found that many people are closet history nerds. Therefore, learning about our country can be a great topic of conversation!

4. Poetry

The poetry class I took in undergrad was one of my favorite courses ever and not just because I’m a huge Sylvia Plath fan. In the class I took, students were expected to read from a book of poetry weekly and then discuss their feelings about the poem during class. The discussions were the best part. Seeing how other people interpreted a poem helped me to understand how they thought as a person. It helped me to think outside the box and reminded me that there are multiple ways to look at a situation. Also, it was a huge wake up call that my opinion wasn’t always the “right” one. There can be many ways to interpret an issue. It should go without saying that this is extremely applicable to real life and not just a poetry class.

Yes, some of these classes may be a pain. Yes, they might feel like “busy work.” But there’s a reason behind all the books and papers. If you look at the bigger picture, you might realize the meanings and applications to real life hidden in some of your core classes.

Also, I’d like to take a moment to thank those professors that teach these common courses, adjunct or not. You are the unsung heroes of the university and help to enrich our college experiences one class at a time.