Everyone knows that one class specific to your major that every upperclassman warns underclassmen about: the dreaded “weed-out” class. Does there have to be a weed-out class for every major?
The unspoken motto of every weed-out class is the same general idea: you either sink or you swim. Many weed-out classes happen at the very beginning of a student’s college career, so they are still not adjusted to college life. If these classes push students hard enough, they might drop out of the major, or just drop out altogether.
You may be saying, “that’s the point of a weed-out class,” but some professors take this title way too far. Many professors who teach these classes don’t care if you pass or fail and are little help when a student is struggling. They think that their class is the only one that matters, and all your time should be devoted to their work. This kind of anxiety that builds week after week is unnecessary and unneeded in a busy college student’s life.
For some STEM related majors, it makes sense to have weed-out classes for underclassmen, like calculus, because the coursework only builds upon itself and gets harder the higher you go. But studies done in 2012 found that of all students who begin studying for a STEM degree switch majors, mainly due to the intensity of weed-out classes in the very beginning of college life. This stress-filled climate is not a healthy learning environment for students and not beneficial to the STEM careers who always need new faces and more diversity.
have shown that men and women in STEM majors are affected differently from weed-out classes like calculus. If women fail calculus during college, they are substantially less likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree in STEM, compared to men where failing calculus didn’t lower the likelihood of a STEM degree. Therefore, weed-out classes are weeding out women in a field where gender diversity is already a problem.
Sometimes the college community regards liberal arts majors as “the easy majors,” but they also have their fair share of weed-out classes with their own challenges. For example, in journalism, if you don’t catch on to how to write a proper news story that catches a reader’s attention with proper grammar and style at the very beginning of your college career, then you will have a rough time in the weed-out class. This kind of writing skill takes work and it is something that some people don’t take to right away.
It’s no wonder college students ask themselves during weed-out classes if their current major is really worth their time, especially if they weren’t passionate about it to begin with. The average cost of tuition and room and board for private and public universities is well over ten thousand a year, with out-of-state costs doubling that. in-state total is $28,986 and out-of-state total is $38,450; every other university across the U.S. is the same if not higher. If a student is paying for their own education, it would be in their best interest to pursue a major that they are able to pass and are passionate about. Weed-out classes don’t make both of these goals possible at the same time.
Weed-out classes are not necessary to prepare students for “the real world,” and they especially aren’t needed in every major. College students are in college for a reason; they have shown a drive at some point in their lives that enables them to pursue a higher education. If they don’t have that drive then they will learn eventually when it comes to looking for a job, eliminating the need for weed-out classes.
Charlotte Caldwell is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Charlotte? Email her at email@example.com.