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5 College Classes I Wish I Took

by Noah Nelson about a month ago in courses
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They would have been enjoyable.

5 College Classes I Wish I Took
Photo by Shubham Sharan on Unsplash

In May 2022, I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in journalism with minors in political science and journalism. It’s one of my life's greatest accomplishments to date, and it led me to thinking about my degree.

During my time in higher education, I completed a total of 39 courses in a wide variety of subjects, especially within my major and minors. There’s so much knowledge I learned over the years from these courses.

I also took many courses for fun as well. Even then, there were many courses I wish I would’ve taken if I had the time in my schedule. Here are 5 of them for example:

1. Screenwriting

Like many of you, I’m an aspiring writer with my toes in the water thus far and in the beginning stages. I write on a wide variety of subjects like music, books, history, personal development and fiction.

But one type of writing I wish I knew more about is screenwriting for movies and television. College would have been the greatest venue for learning such a subject because it would’ve open my eyes to it while also honing my craft.

Who knows, maybe a script would have been created with my name on it. This can still happen in life, but I wish I learned more of the skills needed in this type of writing at college.

2. Money Management

We all earn and spend money. It’s who the world moves and operates. It’s much of how we live our lives.

Don’t you wish you knew how to manage it a little bit better than you do? I know I wish I knew more about it. College would be the place to dive much deeper in this topic as it is the stepping stone before adulthood.

I manage money pretty well currently but learning more about this college would have elevated my knowledge in the future. Oh well, I can still learn this. It’s never too late.

3. Building Your Personal Brand

Many of us have a personal brand. Especially as writers, it’s almost crucial for our careers. It’s how we are noticed, read and known in the writing community.

If I learned more about this in college, it would have catapulted me to a career worth loving. I’m building my personal brand every day, but I think college should have been the place to learn more about this, not after graduation.

I can’t change history, but I’m hoping I can help others in the future with this. Take a college class on building your personal brand. It might help you in the long run.

4. Art History

I don’t know much about art. As far as I go with the field is drawing cartoons every now and then and visiting an art museum about once a year.

College is a great time to explore new areas of interest and this topic would have been a great one to pursue. I could’ve learned how art is made, the artist behind the work and why we should appreciate art.

It would have made me a more cultural person while also enhancing my love for history and art. Who knows, I could still pursue this in the future.

5. Cooking

College is more than making microwave popcorn and pizza rolls. It should be a time we learn how to cook real meals for ourselves.

If I would’ve taken a cooking class at college, it would have expanded my horizons and pallet in the cooking world. I learned a little bit on my own but a professional class would have been a memorable one during my time in college.

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About the author

Noah Nelson

I’m currently a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in journalism with minors in political science and history. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably at a concert or playing acoustic guitar.

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  • Michel kong4 days ago

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  • Gene Lassabout a month ago

    Interesting article. I started out as a journalism major and switched to English (writing intensive program) my junior year. This ended up being a great move. At my school, Journalism majors had to pick their focus early, so we had to shoot for print or broadcast. I was going to go for print but I still took some scriptwriting classes and volunteered at the school TV station so I could learn more of that aspect. I didn't like that we we were so restricted so early. Switching to English gave me more grounding in how to be creative, but I was surprised at how little importance was placed on grammar. I was working alongside fellow English majors who ironically could barely spell, while in contrast in Journalism we weren't expected to be very creative, but precision and good proofing were key. Keep an eye on both, it will make a big difference going forward. Being able to say something in an interesting way will make you stand out in a good way, but if you're misusing words or you have typos that make work for someone else, you and your work may get passed over. Art history is a good thing to know. It enrichens life. You don't need to take a class in it. You're in a big college town. Go hang out at your college art museum, or one there in town. It's likely to be free or cheap, and you can actually feel yourself get smarter as you walk around in there. I used to go to my school's museum just to write, or I'd sometimes bring a pad and sketch. I'm a crappy artist, but you see so much it gets your creative juices flowing. While you're there, ask staff if they have a docent program. Docents are typically unpaid volunteers who give museum tours and talk about the art. See - there it is. They teach you about it for free. Classes you pay for. Cooking is a key skill, but another you can just pick up. Local park districts, the YMCA, etc. they frequently have cooking classes. Or get a very basic cookbook, learn the terms, the basic skills and measurements, and make some simple things like French toast and go from there. If you have a few simple but nice things you can make, make them for other people like your family or friends. It beats eating from a can or microwave all the time, and again, you don't need to pay for a class.

  • Sara Gourgaudabout a month ago

    Fantastic Job

  • Billie Whyteabout a month ago

    This is fantastic, and entirely relatable too! There’s so much for us to learn, but so little time for it! Look forward to reading more.

  • Haylee Marickabout a month ago

    These sound fun. Opened my eyes to some more classes that higher education offer.

  • Robby Talabout a month ago

    These are all great examples. I would have loved to have taken any of these 5.

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