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Why did I take this class?

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Everyone has had it happen. When planning out courses for the upcoming semester there are always those classes that are taken for the mere purpose of the credits. Most of the time the classes chosen are assumed to be the "easy classes." Sometimes students get lucky and that class that they took just for the credits is in fact an easy course, but other times students end up with a larger workload than expected.

Courtney Ohara, New England School of Communications junior, has always felt that she was informed on picking out her courses.

"I usually ask around before I sign up for classes. I will check out the list given to us, and then ask about the classes I think I'll be interested in. I talk to my advisor about which classes/professors he thinks I'll like, because he's usually spot on."

But unfortunately for Ohara, he was not spot on when it came time for her to take Web Design For Non-Majors and Government, courses she thought she could breeze through.

"Web Design for Non-Majors wasn't what I expected. We have to use Dreamweaver, which I think makes things more difficult even though it's 'supposed' to be easier,' said Ohara.

Luckily for Ohara, she is very fond of the professor, which makes her disdain for the class not such a big deal

Kiera Plante also attends NESCom and has similar gripes with a particular video class that she was placed into.

"The class was 6-9 Thursday nights that I had been originally wait listed for. My job had already scheduled me to work that night when I was suddenly added to the class and being poor and needing the money, I couldn't skip work and I missed the first class." Plante explained, "By the second one, add/drop was over so I was stuck, regardless of whether or not I liked it. It turned out awful because it was a freshman class filled with obnoxious kids who didn't care about a three hour class on a Thursday night and it was literally about 90 percent of things I already knew from a previous class. Since it was an intro course the 10 percent of new things learned were simple enough that the need never arose for me to know those things. I could have easily just Googled them and figured it out within ten minutes; which would have saved me hundreds of dollars on this class."

This course ended up being Plante's downfall of the semester due to her skipping out on the many homework assignments. She was focused more on her advanced classes, which she cared more about, but she was able to get through it.

"I ended up having to put in hours on the final few projects to make sure they were just about perfect, as well as doing extra credit work, just so I could pass, because putting this class on the back burner turned out to be a mistake. Even though it was a class that taught things I already knew," Plante said.

What bothered Plante the most was the fact that she was wasting money on a class that she was unable to get out of due to missing the first class. She has learned to be more cautious when picking classes as well as taking all of her classes seriously.

"I ask around more about classes and teachers now before picking them to make sure I have a good idea of what the class will be covering," she said.

Students should definitely be informed before going into any course, ask advisors and other students who have taken the course so as not to end up in a course that could have been avoided.

Laura Gurney is the teacher for Web Design for non majors and responded to the claims of her class being the "easy A" class which turned out to be more work than expected.

"I normally get a wide range of comments. I've had 'you're fun and funny,' 'I learned a lot and this class was pretty good' to 'this class sucks." Strangely enough, it seems that those who are putting effort into the class seem to like the classes better than those who come to class and play online," Gurney said.

Gurney has some advice for students who believe that taking her class will be an "easy A."

"If you're taking my class thinking that you won't have to work, won't learn anything and won't have to put effort into the class in order to pass, then you may struggle or be disappointed in the class. In most classes there is an average of one project per week and in class work is graded. Keeping up with the material, being active in class and turning in work will lend to higher grades. Not everyone earns an A in my courses; on average there are As through Fs earned in my courses. If it was an 'easy A' no one would fail, right?"

Dean of Students at NESCom, Ben Haskell, gives insight as to why students take these "easy courses."

"Like any of us, the path of least resistance is often followed. However, ironically, what is considered an 'easy course' by some is not so easy for others, and students are often misled by the opinions of their peers when it comes to selecting their classes. It is best to talk with one's advisor or seek out the instructors themselves and ask about the course; ask to see the course syllabus."

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