As a creative writing major, you probably want to take creative writing classes all the time. Who wouldn’t, right? Those classes are where you’re in your element. Where you excel.
Well, you can excel in other areas too! Even if you want to lean heavily on humanities instead of science and math, there are still many subjects besides writing that can enhance your education, widen your horizons and give you a broader knowledge base for the writing that you do – creative writing, after all, combines many different subjects together to create interesting stories. And if you pick ones you’re interested in, you’ll have fun while learning!
Here are five types of classes outside of the writing realm that you should absolutely take:
1. An American history class. I know, we all hated American history in high school — weeks spent memorizing the Constitution and the battles of the Civil War felt rote and uninspiring. In college it’s different. You will probably never find a course that attempts to cover the entirety of American history in one semester, and that’s what makes it interesting. Focusing on one specific aspect of our country’s history makes the subject suddenly way more appealing. The first semester of my freshman year, I took a 15-student seminar on slavery and cinema. The class combined historical literature with films that depicted slavery in different ways, and we wrote essays combining our knowledge of both. My professor and the other students in the class were incredible and knowledgeable and it was one of the best classes of my year.
2. A history class focused on one or two other nations. Advanced Placement European history was one of my favorite classes I took in high school. The class that focused on the history of two French Caribbean countries was one of my freshman year favorites. Zooming in on the history of two countries very different than our own was enlightening and gave me a broader appreciation for history on the whole. It was awesome to see how the history of these two nations related to American history, but more importantly, learning about life in these two countries through a unique lens gave me a whole new take on the past.
3. A literature class. This may sound similar to writing, but believe me—it’s not. I took an upper level comparative literature class my first semester, and that singular class was more work than my other four combined. However, it was also my favorite class of the year. My professor was engaging with an unbelievable sense of rhetoric and our discussions had a great rhythm. The class only had four students, so I had to contribute a lot and always think about what I was saying. I learned the most from this class — about literature, how it relates to writing, about communication and the way we think as human beings.
4. A science class geared towards humanities students. This one’s tricky—I took a sustainability class not geared towards non-science students and it did not work out in my favor. That being said, a science class that’s not so science-y is a great way to make sure you’re staying well rounded and have a good base of knowledge in several subjects. It could even be one of your more interesting classes because it’s outside your comfort zone!
5. An upper level class about anything! A class for older students might seem scary when you’re a freshman, but embracing the challenge can lead to great things! You may discover a new subject you’re passionate about, connect with upperclassmen, fall in love with your professor or have the best classroom experience of your life! Give a more difficult course a chance — you never know what could happen!