Classes That Changed My Life

When I started college, I had this idea of what school would be like. It went something like this: No class on Fridays (which is still a priority), no 8 a.m. classes (also, still a priority), and ONLY classes I WANT to take - no if, ands, or buts. Sadly, that is not how college actually works. As much as I wanted to just load up on art classes, with an occasional writing class, I had to fulfill my core requirements. That brings me to three different classes, that I took at three VERY different points in my college career that not only changed my life but helped me discover a new passion I knew nothing about.

Ethics was a class I took spring semester of my freshman year at SHU. My advisor described it as “something everyone has to take, but if you have common sense you will be fine.” Let’s just say I did not have high expectations for that class. The first day my professor walks in with a leather jacket and says, “I don’t do titles, you guys can just call me Maria.” From that moment on I knew I was in for a ride. After we got past the basics of Ethics, I started to really dive deep in modern issues. This class taught this little catholic school girl (aka me) so many things about the world I live in. Every day I would learn something new (deontology, virtue ethics, death penalty, women’s issues etc.) and felt the need to dump all that knowledge on anyone who was willing to listen. On the first day she said we had a final that would be approximately 6-8 pages in length, I gasped. Five months later when I handed in my final paper, it was 9 pages and I reached that length without even batting an eyelash.

Women, Culture, and Society was something I took my sophomore year and took it solely because it was open, I am a woman, and it fulfilled a history credit (crazy I know). For a long time, I always felt kind of alone in my struggle of navigating through life as a young, short, millennial girl, and suddenly I was thrown into an environment that was only girls and we all loved and respected one another. This class was more of a discussion-based class. We rarely took notes, we meditated before any class, and were able to speak freely about anything we wanted. This class also opened my eyes to some real great women in society who do not get enough credit. Shout out to Angela Davis, Fanny Lou Hamer, and Rebecca Solnit. It was really transformative to be in a class discussing feminism, and society as it relates to women in America. If you ever get the chance to take a Women and Gender studies class, DO IT!

Sociology was something I knew absolutely nothing about when I took it. Whenever I asked what this class was based on, no one could give me a straight answer. I truly went in blind. Later I found out that Sociology is basically the study of Society. There is so much to society that most people do not even see. Race issues, gender issues, political problems - you name it we talked about it. This class made me wish I had learned all these things about life way earlier. Whenever I talk to people who have not taken a sociology course before, I recognize all the important lessons they missed out on.

All these classes were just classes where I thought I would write some papers and be on my merry way. Not once did I think I would develop a passion for ethics, women studies, and studying society as a whole. Next time you are trying to fulfill requirements take classes that you might not know much about, are unorthodox, or even random. You might be surprised.