Many people who know me know that I love to learn.
I spend most nights switching between tabs to read articles about the latest technology or current events. I look forward to lecture-based classes, especially with professors who are obviously passionate about sharing their fields of knowledge.
That being said, I am extremely picky with what I love to learn. This semester, I am retaking a calculus course. Within the first two days of class, I have allowed myself to lose some of the passion of learning something new. The subject does not come naturally to me, so I have to work harder to feel comfortable in class. Every time a new concept or formula is introduced, it becomes more difficult to be as passionate about learning math as I am about a liberal arts class.
This isn’t a new obstacle for me. I’ve had different levels of interest in various classes, and that’s to be expected. However, as a senior, I’m working towards being able to appreciate gaining knowledge about subjects that I would’ve ignored during past academic years. College is expensive, and for my last year here, I want to make sure that I’ve gotten all that I can out of each class.
So far, Dr. Nicole Panza has done her best to make calculus relatable, exciting and comprehendible for students who are a little less familiar with the subject. She goes over math problems in a way that benefits every type of learner, and she encourages teamwork between students. It’s the students’ job to respond to her efforts with a desire to learn. In my experience, most of the professors at FMU are extremely passionate about their fields and are skilled in teaching to a wide audience with different learning abilities. So, any lack of interest in a subject is purely due to a shortage of effort on my part.
In academia, students are usually encouraged to grow stronger in their specific fields. Specialization is important, of course, but there are also many benefits to learning about other fields of study.
One of the greatest benefits to learning about different fields is flexibility. Employers often see potential employees more favorably when they have more skills and knowledge to offer. Also, learning about different fields makes it easier to relate to people no matter what their specializations, which is extremely important for networking and for creating relationships in general.
If I wanted to, I could look at calculus as just another course and focus on learning the bare minimum, but to me, that would be a waste of both my tuition and Dr. Panza’s time. All students go to college because they desire to be here and want to take classes. Although many classes are required for general education courses, students pay around five hundred dollars per credit hour. An investment of that size, to me, is worth more than minimal effort.
With a full load of classes, it’s easy to lose interest and enthusiasm for the subjects that you’re not passionate about. I am just as guilty as any other student for placing high priority on my major courses and giving less interest to my general education credits. But this year, I plan to fight senioritis and learn to love learning about calculus, even if it isn’t my specialty.
You’re giving up your time and money for the classes you take. Make it a positive experience no matter the subject.