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The Most Useful Classes I Have Taken at UC Davis

I've taken a hefty number of classes at UC Davis over the last four years (210 units worth and still counting!) and some have been more useful than others. By "useful" I am referring to both the subject's application to the real world as well as my individual growth as a person. So, as a wise fourth year, I have decided to share some of my knowledge with you. (As a disclaimer, the majority of these classes are in the humanities.)

UWP 104T - Technical Writing

I thought technical writing was just writing concisely, but it's so much more. The amount of work in this class is insane, and I would hate to relive it again, but I am honestly so thankful I took this class. The skills I learned here can literally be applied to any professional setting I choose to enter, and I feel so much more confident in my work and in myself now that I’ve acquired this knowledge.

ENL 110B - Modern Lit & Theory

This class was a b**** but it has proven to be so useful to me in the rest of my English classes. We read Marx, Derrida, Kant, and Judith Butler - names (and theories) which have come up in almost every single English class I've taken since. It gave me a leg up; when professors were talking about a certain theory, I was actually able to follow along rather than sit and zone out because I had no idea what they were talking about. It's also a major requirement, so there's that.

PSC 001 - General Psychology

If you didn't take psychology in high school, this is definitely a class you should add to your list. I took AP Psych in high school, so this class was more of a review for me, but the concepts you learn here will come up over and over again throughout your undergraduate career. I took this class with Professor Thompson, and he was wonderful. 

NUT 010 - Discoveries & Concepts

This subject probably has the most application to the real world. I can't say that it has been helpful in my English/Communication/Professional Writing degrees, but it's good knowledge to have for life.

ENL 117 - Shakespeare

It has been so useful to have Shakespeare in my academic/literary repertoire. His works come up all the time, and it's so nice being able to talk about them comfortably in conversation. If you're an English major, you're pretty much expected to be familiar with Shakespeare, and this class is super helpful.

CMN 147 - Children, Adolescents, and the Media

You know how in elementary and middle school your teachers would put notes like "A pleasure to have in class" on your report card? Well, for CMN 147 it is a pleasure to BE in class. The subject matter is so fascinating and Drew Cingel is an incredible professor (if you have a chance to take one of his classes, do it!). Also, I know the information I learned here will be useful when I eventually have kids.

ENL 186 - Lit, Sexuality, & Gender and ENL 185B - Women’s Writing II

I feel like these classes just rounded me out as a person pretty well. By exposing myself to authors and themes I wouldn't typically come across in an English class (i.e. anyone who isn't a white male who is tortured about something privileged and irrelevant), I was able to gain new perspectives and widen my literature knowledge. It was definitely refreshing!

UWP 112A - Intro to Professional Editing

Okay so I'm technically cheating on this one since I haven't actually taken the class yet, but I can already tell I'm going to love it. This class is the reason why I decided to add a Professional Writing minor. I want to go into the editing field, so I know this class will provide me with much-needed knowledge pertaining to all things editing!

Nikki is a fourth year UC Davis student double majoring in English and Communication, and minoring in Professional Writing. Her passions include: puppies, Harry Styles, and Coke ICEEs. She thoroughly enjoys proofreading and hopes to somehow make a career out of it.
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