Pop culture tells that we are either left or right-brain dominant: it’s always one or the other.
Back then, at some point in your pre-college life, you lean on to “Which brain-side are you?” tests to help you find that major that best fits you. These are tests that associate your personality traits with your supposedly “brained-ness”. You get the results, and voila! You go crazy checking those accounting-engineering-biology courses, all because it says you’re analytic and logical.
But here you are, enrolled in one of these majors, thinking of taking that brain test once more because you just can’t get enough of your INTFILO class.
Apparently you are torn between your analytical and intuitive side until you let go of this recently debunked theory on human thinking capacity, and realize you are neither left nor right-brained. That’s right; you can have the best of both worlds. You can be the best Philosophical Engineer or the Physician writer that you dream of.
But really, how? Thinking of shifting, or getting a double major? You might want to the results of this February’s Green Pulse first before you end up taking that brain test again.
Room for roaming
Brain test or no brain test, college students generally have more freedom on which subjects to take. However, they still have to complete the required courses indicated in their respective course checklists; after all, flowcharts are designed in order that one may have a well-rounded University education. Still, the survey results indicated a demarcation between the responses of freshmen and upperclassmen, with the newly minted Lasallians leading the way in expressing their satisfaction regarding general education subjects.
Whether they are still marveling over the newness of becoming college students or not, freshmen in general were appreciative of general education subjects. Lexi (I, AB-ISE), commented that these subjects maintain the freshness of high school concepts, while Geil (I, PHY-MED) and Denise (I, AB-OSDM) enthused that floating subjects teach them skills and provide sufficient knowledge that help students in their future careers.
However, these flowcharts are not representative of one’s likes and dislikes. Upperclassmen like Monica (III, MGT) and Ayra (II, BSA), felt that general education subjects do not contribute much to their learning and are sometimes irrelevant. Students from the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Business even went to greater lengths by saying that some floating subjects needed to be merged as one, providing an undertone that some of these subjects had to be scrapped altogether, in exchange of other electives. Meanwhile, Nicolas (III, AE-BSA), took the objective route by pointing out that bookish professors give way to boring classes. Overall, Lasallian survey respondents have indicated that they would like to have more wiggling room when it comes to general education courses.
The pursuit of interests
Versatility may be considered as a talent, for others an escape route; some may see it as simply keeping their minds open to other options. Choosing a specific degree in college does not necessarily mean that one excels in only that particular field. Interests are bound to be discovered or even ventured into and “unleashed” completely through an entirely different degree program.
Camille (IV, BS-PSYC) says, “Students have other interests other than the ones included in their curriculum, like a psychology major can become interested in computer programming.” In light of this belief, she further shares her interests in other subjects, such as foreign languages and computer programming, because she believes that there would come a time that it would come in handy someday.
Walking along the road of chances to venture into their interests or entirely different yet interesting subject matters, Milla (I, AB-PSYC) admits that although she is unaware of the official course codes, the idea and opportunity would be a delight. “I am not aware of other courses in other colleges, but it wouldn’t hurt to try these subjects. The opportunity of being able to get a course that I would surely like would be great.”
Chuck (III, BS-ECE) explores a different idea by affirming that the current general education subjects offered are just fine but he also remains open to taking ‘interest’ subjects. “I believe it’s just right. I wouldn’t want to take too many floating subjects because I would prefer to focus more regarding my course; and at the same time, I wouldn’t want it to be too few, because once in a while, you’ll want to have a break from solving problems.”
Currently, the course offerings students have may just be introductory to their prefered or personal interests but it goes to show that Lasallians do have more to offer beyond their chosen degrees and are open to the possibility of taking up courses of their interest as it would render to be beneficial to their future endeavors.
What ifs and why not
As open Lasallians are to the possibility of enrolling into extra or special interest courses other than those they are required of in their degree, this phenomenon would entail changes both within the faculty, the students and of course the entire academic system.
The University Student Government (USG) has entertained the idea of widening horizons when it comes to undergraduate courses, as it recently released a survey asking the students’ takes on Major-Minor degree programs.
While nothing about this endeavor has been officially determined, this would undoubtedly give students more chances to get creative about their career paths.
Incorporating the prospects of life after University, Fritz, (II-AB-DSM) shares the significance of versatility in the process of job searching, “If you think of it, after graduating, people do not look at what you have finished. It is what you are capable of doing that catches their attention.”
To support the idea on capabilities, John (IV-BS-AEC) adds that, “Students can become well-rounded people who are critical of their environment, of themselves, and of the lessons that are shoved down their throat. They can also transcend their current states of being mindless, profit-maximizing zombies!”
Denise (I, AB-PSM) gives a different viewpoint on the issue by laying out the tedious effect and process, “I think it would be a hassle for the professors and they might find it irrational for students to do so because it will mean more work load both for them and the students. As for the students, I think it will not be favorable for the ones who actually need them in the course that they are taking up because this will result to a more hassle enrollment process and it will also affect the competition regarding the reservation of slots in each of the classes.”
Power in our hands
This whole notion of the mind’s distinct behavior of going from one interest to another becomes even more enticing as one goes through with college life and gets introduced to the concept of sitting in classes, enrolling in audit courses, and considering major-minor programs.
However, it all boils down to the issue that our floating subjects are not enough to satiate our mind’s hunger for more tidbits of knowledge. The institution’s design has reasons for how it is or how it might be lacking on its part, but the urge to modify what is laid down to us is always enough to push us to get the best out of our stay here and become well-rounded enough before we exit the gates of DLSU.