23 courses.

If your educational situation is unfortunate enough to the point where you start in a beginner language class and none of your other courses fulfill multiple requirements, this is the amount of core classes you will have to take in your time here at Fairfield.

Granted, this isn’t always the case, but it still remains that this is a possibility. If you do the math, you can see that it would take four semesters minimum to complete this absurd level of requirements (and that’s only if you take six classes each for three of those semesters).

Four semesters. That’s two years. That is two years of going to a school that charges approximately 54,000 dollars per year to attend. So – and I’ll even round down – you will essentially pay 100 grand for a bunch of classes that you didn’t want to take.

If you’re someone in a situation like mine, you already know that you’ll be paying for this education long after you’ve forgotten 90 percent of what was forcibly taught to you. Personally, I will have accrued approximately 80 grand in debt by the time I graduate. I can safely assume that half of that is due to the fact that I was sitting in classroom learning about things in which I have no interest.

And what is it I’m forced to learn about? As an English major, I can safely say that I will never use the skills I’ve attempted to learn in my math classes, natural science classes, and especially my religion classes. I could explain my specific reasonings for my disdain concerning each one, but it’s very subjective for each student.

This brings me to my point: it is exactly because of this subjectivity in what one wants to learn that we should not be forced to take an identical academic route. Honestly, it feels like the cheap way out. Instead of offering a larger variety of special interest upper level classes for each major, the administration can bank on the fact that most seniors will be catching up on HI30 and statistics.

I’m not saying we should rid this school entirely of the core curriculum. I understand that it serves as a way to encourage students to broaden their academic horizons. But to what extent must we be encouraged? Do I really need to take two different classes on religion? Must I really pursue another math class after I struggle through calculus, knowing the entire time I will never use or pursue these skills?

Furthermore, I believe that forcing students into the core actually diminishes their academic horizons. For example, I wanted to take a painting turbo this semester. This was not because art is thought of as an easy subject, but because it was something that interests me that I have never had the chance to pursue. However, at the last minute, I had to sign up for a statistics class. I may never discover my hidden ability as a painter, but at least I’ll have the ability to draw a histogram.

Another point worth noting is that a lack of passion towards learning about a subject easily translates into apathy. Although it is the responsibility of any student to try their hardest regardless of what is being taught, the mindset that classes serve only to train students into subservience is one better left in high school. We are here because we took four years of classes we hated. Don’t make us do it all over again, because our grades will suffer just like they did in high school.

I’m all about learning. In fact, I think we live in a generation that doesn’t value education. But perhaps it’s because we’re forced to learn what we don’t want.

And I don’t want to pay for an education that I do not take an active interest in at all times.

I want to have time to take 23 different English classes.

I’ll be paying for my education for a while. I should at least be able to decide what I’ll be paying for.

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