General fear over gen eds

As the semester draws to a close, feelings of anxiousness rise in students. But part of that anxiety may not come from final exams. That stress may come from university’s general education requirements, and the struggles of balancing classes one wants to take, and classes one is forced to take.

With ten official general education requirements (gen eds,) not counting any writing prerequisites or major-specific general education requirements, students are left facing 40 credits of classes they may not need for their major.

“I’m spending money on classes I might not ever need,” freshman Colleen Elsbernd said.

But Brianna Jaczynski, Biomedical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences major, offered a different take.

“The worst part of the general education requirements is that it distracts from studying for core classes.” Jaczynski said. “I’m still going to finish my degree in four years, but I’ll need to take 18 credits a semester plus a couple summer classes every year.”

There may be some reason to push through the hassle of completing the general education requirements.

John Tufnell, Resident Assistant in Oak View Hall, said he believes that these gen eds are not the real concern for students.

“Gen eds only make up 40 total credits, and most majors require about 120 to earn a degree, so there’s a lot more content students are learning that relates to their major than just their general education classes.”

“I think they’re worth it” he stated. “No matter what, learning about different subject materials is worth it in order to have a balanced education, especially if you are undecided; it may direct you on a major path.”

Tara Aziz, sophomore Teaching Assistant, discussed the responsibility every student takes on while attending a university.

“We are all college students after all, so our learning should be our responsibility; we can make our own decisions. Gen eds do take energy that you could be putting into something related to grad school or your career, but by spreading out your gen eds over your years in college, it isn’t that bad.”

Ultimately, students face the responsibility of talking to their First Year Advising Counselor (FYAC) or major-specific advisers about what gen eds are right for their major and right for them as a student. Though they might be time consuming and, to some students, useless, it seems as if there’s reason behind taking 40 credits of seemingly random classes.

More information on the overall gen ed requirements can be found at