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Gen Eds That Were Harder Than They Should’ve Been

We all have to take gen eds but we think it’s pretty clear we’re trying to take the easiest classes possible to help pad our GPAs in preparation for the damage of upper-level classes in our actual majors. Some of these classes do just that, but it’s the classes that turn out much harder than they seem that will ruin your semester.

It’s a trap wrapped up (not so) neatly in LionPATH. You think the class will be a breeze because you either think you already know a little about the subject or it just sounds interesting and fun (until you barely pass the class). Unfortunately, our staff has some horror stories. Shy away from these gen ed classes if you want to make it out alive.

Emilie Dormer – GEOSCI 40

GEOSCI 40 is by far the hardest gen ed I’ve ever taken. It’s called “The Sea Around Us,” and from what I had heard, it was about dolphins, whales, and other marine life. You know, joyful things like that. However, this class ended up being a nightmare. I’m not into science, hence why I was in enrolled in course in the first place, and nearly half of the class failed the first exam (and the second, and the third). The professor lectured by reading her slides verbatim with her back to us, and you could barely hear her in a room filled with hundreds of students. I made it out by the skin of my teeth with a C, but that class tanked my GPA and all joys I formerly had about “The Sea Around Us.” 0/10 would recommend to a friend.

Anthony Colucci – COMM 150

I took this class because the description on LionPATH sounded pretty fun and relatively easy. Who wouldn’t enjoy a class where instead of a lecture, you got to watch some classic films? Although it isn’t an overwhelmingly difficult class, this course does take a good amount of effort to do well and it definitely isn’t one of the easiest options to fill the arts requirement. Only take COMM 150 if you’re truly interested. You do get to learn a lot and start to see films in a different way, but only take this class if you’re okay with working hard when you could be learning about hip hop or painting instead.

Allison Wulfhorst – CMLIT 108

Take something fun to help ease the transition to college, I said to myself while scheduling my first semester, and I stumbled upon a mythology course. I enjoy mythology and I like to think I know a good amount of Greek and Roman (read: I’ve seen Percy Jackson and the Olympians.) I figured I’d learn a few things, but that the class would be mainly a refresher on what I already knew. I thought I wouldn’t have to focus much on this class because I’d have other, more demanding courses. Alas, this turned out to be one of those demanding courses because it covers every other type of mythology EXCEPT Greek and Roman. Not only is the information boring, but the exams are extremely difficult. This class is the nightmare where I failed my first college exam.

Elissa Hill – THEA 100

I took THEA 100 my first semester of freshman year. After all, I needed an arts credit and I was president of drama club in high school (no big deal). Everyone I knew at Penn State recommended the course, so I was surprised to take the first quiz and realize the questions focused on such minute details from the readings. I later found out the class switched professors, which explained why the course was so much more difficult than previous semesters. For the midterm and final, we all needed to purchase tickets to see the School of Theatre’s productions that semester and write a 1000+ word review of the show. It’s hard to analyze a production if you don’t know anything about theatre, so if you aren’t a serious theatre lover, this class might not be for you. Disclaimer: I still got an A even though I didn’t enjoy the class nearly as much as I thought I would. On the bright side, attendance is not mandatory.

Sara Civian – Every Single Nutrition Gen Ed

Just take fitness walking.

About the Author


Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.


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