Winter Quarter has finally come to an end. Yet for some reason I have some of the lowest grades I’ve had in years. But granted, I’m not literally failing every class, I was inspired to take a closer look at the classes I’ve been sitting in for the past 10 weeks. Guess how many actually pertained to my major? One.
As a journalist, I understand the need to comprehend other topics and the world that surrounds us, but I believe that is what four years of high school are for — preparing us for college, preparing us for where we actually want to be in life. I’m not too sure how an economics class relates to a journalist writing about music.
Back when tuition wasn’t at an astronomical high, I could understand taking a few extra courses. But now, as I pay more than $20,000 each year for my education, it’s time that I get what I need from college and go. For me, that means screw those two economics classes, two history classes, that random fine art requisite, and those American forests classes and give me something good.
While having a heated discussion with a professor from Ohio University, I asked why we have a full page of requisites and only a box full of classes that we need to take for our major.
Of course, she stated that it’s important, especially as a journalist, to understand a little something from each subject, even more so if we are deciding to write about a specific topic in the future. As she responded, again, my head was full of rebuttals.
Well, isn’t that what our two required specializations are for? Again, don’t we enter into each of these subjects during high school? I don’t see a cultural journalist writing about calculus anytime soon.
In summary, the result of this past quarter of classes is hard work with an outcome of a lowered GPA and a waste of 17 credit hours for classes that don’t even pertain to my career needs. I love watching thousands of dollars going into a class I don’t even need or sat through a year ago.
My goal is not to diminish the point of college or the importance of creating a well-rounded reporter. My point is to highlight the fact that college is the time to focus on where we want to be four years from now, not to make sure we have 10 weeks worth of economics knowledge.
Now, especially as we transition to semesters, we’ll take fewer classes for a longer time, so why not spend our time and money on something we care about. The importance of having a well-rounded college graduate is great. But will one design class for an accounting major achieve that goal?
As the job world becomes more competitive and the financial world becomes more strained, I believe it is time we set our priorities. Are two entry-level economics classes going to convince a publication that I would be able to write an entire series about the current state of the country’s debt? Is a publication even going to care that I have taken one statistics class? If that were a topic I wanted to be writing about, I would have specialized in it.
Despite those arguments, I continue to see a biology major sitting in the back of a literature course and an accounting major in a design class. Because of that, is it possible that college is becoming an institution focused on business and profit instead of education? If that presumption is incorrect, why not increase the value of a college education, subtract a few of those extra classes, focus on what students need, and save a few dollars along the way?
Lindsay Friedman is a freshman studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. Think you’ll need calculus as a dance major? Email her at