Bird Courses: Urban Myth

There’s a certain allure to bird courses—the promise of soaring 90s, minimal stress, and maybe even a good time. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Wrong. In all three of my years here at Western, any bird course has bogged down my average.

I’m majoring in Health Sciences, which I adore because it offers so much flexibility. As such, I’ve been fortunate to explore topics I would normally never be exposed to. Spanish, sociology, psychology, French, political science, business… and more to come. Everyone warned me about business, especially 2257, due to the difficulty and time commitment. Regardless, I ended up with a great mark in the course because I truly enjoyed learning about marketing, finance, and the works. Fast forward to me taking an online French course that fellow peers told me was a breeze, where my mark was mediocre at best. I’m fluent in French, so what happened? The course was a total bore.

It turns out, when you take courses you have a genuine interest in, you’re more prone to grasping the material and actually getting the work done. This is just common sense, yet I know I’m not the only student pissed off at themselves for taking a course just for the promise of getting a good mark. We all pay so much to be here—why are we wasting our money (and our time) with classes that don’t interest us?

You can still be smart about what courses you take—for example, I’m no physics whiz so I’m happy to avoid that topic. A good rule of thumb is that your interests are likely your strengths, so have fun with them. Western offers over 2000 courses for first year students alone. There is a course out there for you that’s not super cliché (aka don’t choose Geography of Tourism) and that you won’t dread attending every week. You owe it to yourself to branch out and discover something new!

If you’re not convinced, other benefits to trying a course that’s a little out of the ordinary include: new friends in new faculties, not panicking about your course filling up because hardly anyone knows it exists, exploring new buildings on campus, exercising skills you didn’t know you had, and adopting new ways of seeing the world. Plus, if you show up the first day and realize that the course isn’t what you expected, you can drop it easily. At least you tried.

As we approach January, let me remind you—new year, new you, new courses. This is one of the only times in your life where you can take advantage of the exposure to new areas and take charge of your education. Don’t waste it!

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