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Students Should Take Classes that Bring Them Joy

Especially at the most wonderful time of the year, it is important to experience joy in our lives. Perhaps the stress of upcoming finals and the uncertainty of a new semester on the horizon make us forget this, but it is crucial to remember the importance of our happiness.

A great way to feel fulfilled all semester-long is to take classes that are enjoyable. So many students fill their schedule with classes that they think look good on a resume, only to feel burned out, exhausted and stressed by the time the end of the semester rolls around. Not all classes have to be stressful and frustrating. Taking a class that is actually enjoyable can also make the less enjoyable classes feel more bearable. Trust me.

Currently, I am taking an overloaded schedule in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. My schedule is a mix of core requirements and difficult classes in my major. 

But cutting through the dense fog of stress is a beacon of light: songwriting. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday a little bit of joy is brought into my life when I walk up the stairs of the Mullen Center to take my songwriting class. It is like a breath of fresh air.

The minute I heard about the class my freshman year, I knew it was something I wanted to take, regardless of whether it would count for other requirements (though it does count for my fine arts requirement). It was important to me to take a class that I knew would bring me joy. Sure enough, learning about chord structures, lyric formatting, music theory and famous songwriters gives me the break in my day that I so crave. I am able to put my brain to use in a different way than I do in all of my other classes, but also in a way that I find truly enjoyable.

Perhaps there are people out there that truly feel this way about differential equations, but I have yet to meet them. My point is, it is important to balance out the difficult things with the things that bring us joy lest we lose ourselves in the work.

I know that class registration has already passed, but take a moment to think about all of the possible classes here at Villanova. There are departments that I did not even know existed. There are classes about topics so specific that the course catalog feels nearly infinite. So, whatever someone has an interest in, there simply must be a class in it.

I am not suggesting that people just take “easy” classes. Sometimes, the things that we love can be challenging, but it is okay because it is something we truly value and care about. And taking enjoyable classes makes the work not really feel like work at all. While it is great to bolster resumes, life is not just about having the best looking list of things we have done.

Another great reason to take enjoyable classes, especially early in one’s college career, is that one might discover a passion they never knew existed. Sometimes, this is difficult because of core requirements or prerequisites, but no one would ever learn what they are passionate about if they never took a class in it. Passions do not have to just be something to pursue for extracurriculars, they can become part of our curriculum of classes, too.

Originally, I wanted to write an article just praising how incredible my songwriting class is. It was because I love the class so much that I realized a more important message would be to encourage others to also take classes they are this passionate about.

So, if ever you find yourself taking a class so awesome that you want to write an article about it in The Villanovan, you are doing something right. Always take the opportunity to take classes that bring you joy because you never know if the opportunity will ever arise again.

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