In university, there is subject matter that you focus on most: your major.  There is great flexibility too; one can strive towards two subjects to major, or an infinite amount of subjects with a minor.

However, at Mount Allison, it is required students take a certain number of ‘distribution courses’ to supplement their chosen major and minor. The idea is that in taking a certain number of distribution courses, on top of your focused major and minor that you will finish university as a ‘well-rounded’ individual.

Since when is ‘well-roundedness’ defined by course codes on a transcript? It means little if the distribution course means little to the student.

I feel that the quality of my education is being diminished because of the courses I am pre-determined to take, but do not interest me, for the sole purpose of fulfilling mandates set by university administrators. This conceptualization is useless if the student is disheartened and uninspired, a notion that can transfer to their other courses that were once truly important to them. With the stress and work that university brings, it would be wise to not tamper with innate curiosity and passion for a given subject. Students should not be sitting in class and questioning why they are even attending the class.

Current distribution requirements need more flexibility in choosing which distribution interests a particular student. In saying this, I do not think every student thinks this way; there is likely a political science major out there who, aside from their political science courses, also enjoys science and classics, and therefore it is a treat for them to be able to take a classics course amid a sea of political science lectures.

Am I really more well-rounded if I take a class that I spent the entire semester unengaged with? And why is it that some courses are only offered every few years? This is not to discredit the importance of a well-rounded education, but the interests and well-being of students must be taking into the consideration.

Distribution requirements and course selection should be re-evaluated to perhaps include less required distribution courses, in order to provide students with more chance to follow which courses they are passionate about. This is then taking into the account the interest of the real-life student, and not the theoretical ‘well-rounded’ one the university is trying to mould together with their set of mandates.

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