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Northern State of Mind

November 7, 2010

Signing up for classes-a task always dreaded by college students.

Don't get me wrong, I love going to college. I thrive on homework and chapter reviews. I know that I'm preparing for my future-which is always fun. Once I'm in a class, I'm focused and ready to learn. But when it comes to deciding what the next step is, I tend to crumble.

I'm a management major. I kind of, sort of, enjoy it.

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I know in the end it will really pay off, but the math classes I'm forced to take-not so much.

With the semester quickly coming to an end, it's now time to sign up for my winter courses.

Unfortunately as a management major, I will be taking lots of math, accounting, and marketing classes. This is to be expected.

I manage to squeeze a writing class in there every once in a while. I know I'll always be a writer at heart, but when I grow up, I want to work in business doing ... something.

When I went online and did a class search and scanned through all of the MA101s and AC320s I could feel myself starting to panic.

Even though each course offers a specific curriculum that will help me graduate, to me they all say the same things: "endless amounts of late night studying and intense tutoring sessions."

I am by NO MEANS a mathematician-I believe I've mentioned this before. And I definitely have a hard time understand the differences between the various math classes.

Thankfully, Northern has advisers for each of their students that help us in our journey to graduation. We can set up meetings with them and they guide us to the courses we should be taking.

This week, when my adviser and I sat down, we developed a game plan for the next three semesters.

I was surprised to see that along with a billion math classes, I also had to take a health promotions class, something like ballet or scuba diving and a class on African performance and communication.

I sat back in my chair and laughed. I could hear my peers in the background.

"Why do we have to take a class that doesn't have ANYTHING to do with our major!"

"What a waste of time ..." On and on they go.

I'm sure every adviser hears one of those comments at least five times a day.

I understand where the students are coming from. College is stressful enough without having to worry about classes that we, at the time, feel are meaningless.

But, as our parents used to tell us as children, "One day we will understand."

It's not enough just to be educated about our own specific career fields. Being that narrow minded can only get us so far.

One day, when we find ourselves in the middle of a business meeting with our coworkers talking about world events, it will be nice being able to contribute to the conversation. When we do, we will think back to our African performance class, or our political science class and be thankful we took the time to learn a thing or two.

So, a little advice to all college students signing up for classes. We are all going to take a class or two we hate right now, but remember, one day it will pay off.

Editor's note: Chelsey Roath is a student at Northern Michigan University. Her weekly column on college life in Marquette runs on Sundays. Her e-mail is



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