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5 Relatively Stress-Free UVA Classes You Should Take

After such a long and stressful semester, I realized that taking classes all within my major was not the best idea. As a third year, some of the best classes I’ve taken were actually done for fun. Yes, there are actually classes out there that won’t leave you stressed and dejected about your future. Although I enjoy what I study, I am really glad I took the time to explore different subjects outside of my major. When course enrollment hits, I highly recommend you check out these five classes:

EDIS 2010: Teaching as a Profession

If you’re interested in education or teaching at all, this is the perfect introductory course. This is required for people in the Curry school, but people from across all majors take it. I almost pursued teaching as a career, so this class has a place in my heart. You learn a lot about the education landscape in America and get to gain field experience through volunteering. I was a camp counselor and tutor for many years, so going into classrooms in Charlottesville was super fun for me. This class also doesn’t require much from you besides in class participation and some worksheets (which are basic fill in the blanks/reflection responses). The best part is that this class actually counts as four credits (including the field experience, which is mandatory). All of the professors are super nice and personable - mine was the epitome of a sweet old man who just wanted his students to learn in a fun environment. Take this with your friends - you will not regret it!

CLAS 2010: Greek Civilization

This was hands down one of the most interesting classes I have ever taken. I took this to count towards a college requirement, but I had a blast. You learn a lot about Greek civilization (wow, spoiler alert!), and my professor weaved all of our content into a very entertaining story each lecture. His passion for the subject made me genuinely excited to learn. There are some tests for this class and quite a bit of reading, but it was manageable. The professor also gave us a pep talk before each class and told us the most important thing is that we learned the content, not our grades. The tests were also doable with some studying, which is honestly necessary for almost all classes. If you enjoy learning about history, this class is the one for you.

SLAV 2360: Dracula

This is one of the most popular courses at UVA; everyone I know who has taken it always raves about it. I have not personally taken it, but I definitely plan to. From what I’ve heard, this class is very fun with an entertaining professor. You learn about Dracula (wow who would’ve thought!) and Slavic history. When the course switched to an online format, my friends all said they felt like they were watching a Twitch stream rather than sitting through a long lecture. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty great to me.

WGS 2100: Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies

While this class did have a lot of readings and several papers, it was really insightful. The professor is super passionate about the subject - she engaged with our class of 100+ people and always incorporated fun assignments into our homework. For example, we watched Black Panther when we learned about diversity and intersectionality. This class also encourages you to think differently and engage in conversations about readings and societal norms that you typically wouldn’t think about. There is a discussion section for this class, but it wasn’t bad.

EDHS 4300: Psycholinguistics and Communication

I never thought I’d take a 4000-level class in a subject that is far from my major, but I did, and I totally recommend it. I took this class with a bunch of friends and felt like I learned a lot how we communicate as humans. There are several group projects, clicker questions, and a final for this class, but as long as you choose a reliable group (which is why I took it with friends) and show up to class, you will do just fine. 

Shirley is a fourth year at the University of Virginia. She loves coffee, books, and plants. She also hopes that you'll enjoy her articles!
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