Get the Suckfest Out of the Way As Soon As Possible

When I went off to college three years ago, my brother gave me two words of advice: Don’t get “the clap” and get your GEs out of the way as quickly as possible. Now, three years later, I’m clap free, and I’ve got 16 non-GE units left to complete before I graduate in the spring. I listened to my brother’s advice, and now I’m ready to finish off college in style – taking the few intriguing upper division classes available and finally getting to know some of my professors (read: letter of recommendation). GEs are really just a piece of the inane bureaucratic puzzle that I signed up for when I came to a public school, so it’s tough to get riled up over them. What’s easier is getting them over with as quickly as possible.

Before we begin, it’s crucial to understand how irrelevant and illogical GEs are in the first place. Apparently, students are required to take these – frequently poorly taught and monotonous – classes in order to fully enlighten themselves to the world of education. It wouldn’t be fair for a biology major to go through college without learning about the New Deal. Conceptually, GEs make sense. In reality, these classes, which are often the enormous, lecture-hall type, leave you with slim knowledge of a subject you probably will never further explore. Did taking Geology 7: Dinosaurs to fulfill my science GE motivate me to become a bio major? No. But it did teach me how to cut and paste Pangaea. Thank you, UCSB bigwigs, for dictating my education! Of course, GEs are not all bad. Since everyone needs to take them, they are often the best place to meet new friends and attractive members of the opposite sex. So, make haste, and fill up your schedule with as many GEs as you can.

Daily Nexus Assistant Opinion Editor Adam Wenger also learned how to make a very impressive diorama of a Native American village.

Take Classes You Enjoy; GEs Will Take Care of Themselves

General Education requirements. As in a general overview of various knowledge to acquire over the course of four years. Generally. GEs cover a wide range of interests: literature, math and science, arts, culture and thought, foreign language, English and social science. Seven separate sections may seem like a buttload of requirements to fulfill, but remember this: You’ll be here for four years. I realize the overachiever in you wants desperately to cross those smirking GEs off your laminated to-do list, but take it from someone older, wiser and hotter: restrain yourself. Let’s journey into your future: After furiously crashing courses for two years to complete all the easy GEs, you turn to the requirements for your major. Every quarter for the next two years, you enroll in four very demanding, frustratingly repetitive classes. After you spend every quarter studying for chemistry finals, you’ll wish you had a reason to sign up for Anthropology 2. You’ll start hating your major, despising your professors, and subsequently spending your time with Pirate.

Instead, sign up for classes that interest you, and the GEs will take care of themselves. I’ve been following this mantra ever since I signed up for Astronomy 1 in an attempt to fulfill Area C. The physics-based class only destroyed my dignity and hurt my GPA. Later. I signed up for PStats 5A out of pure interest in the topic. The class was surprisingly easy and fun. Months later I realized PStats could have replaced the headache-inducing Astronomy course as my final quantitative requirement. So, I stopped focusing on the A-G letters in the course catalogue, and now pick classes based on their topics. I finished my GEs with time to spare.

This is one of the few times I’ll endorse self-restraint at UCSB, so take note. And don’t forget to thank me in your valedictorian speech.

Daily Nexus special supplements editor Kera Zacuto wouldn’t mind taking Intro to Smoking from your Eye with Professor Pirate.