Boring classes have purpose

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When asked about his days as a chowder-pot scrubber in southeastern Connecticut, Casey Neistat—one of YouTube’s most revered vloggers and filmmakers—said: “If you don’t know what you want to do in life, spend as much time as possible doing something you absolutely hate.”
 
With regards to contemporary academia, that maxim holds especially true. 
 
It’s no secret that most of the classes we take throughout our academic careers fail to stimulate our interest. Back in primary and secondary school, being bored in classes seemed more or less part of the experience.
 
But now—with thousands of dollars invested in tuition—being subjected to classes  that feel useless is deflating. Of course, this is all relative. Someone in Engineering might hate their program while 15 others find great joy in it. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who goes to every class for four years straight with a smile on their face. 
 
Depending on where you’re situated on the spectrum—whether it’s just one class that bores you or you’re beginning to question your entire degree—it’s best to use sub-par classes constructively and learn from them in ways that’ll benefit your future.
 
First and foremost, boring classes can improve your work ethic.One might think interesting classes would better foster a work-driven disposition, but think of it this way: What’s a better test of a jogger’s dedication to training for a marathon runningin sunshine or running in two feet of snow?
 
If you take a class you find substantially worse than others, it’ll test your focus, and you’ll likely become more efficient by getting your work done as quickly as possible. 
 
Second, bone-dry courses can seriously try your patience—and that’s a good thing.
 
Let’s be honest, our constant phone-checking during lectures is a microcosm of our generation’s issues with patience. And it really shows.
 
Sitting through a three-hour lecture at 7 p.m. on a Wednesday while paying attention is hard, but it shouldn’t be. Use the opportunity to become better at being patient.
 
Finally, accept and lean into the fact you don’t like your classes.
 
Take it from Casey Neistat: Spending 50 hours a week doing something you hate will sharpen your view of what you’d rather be doing. You may as well use it to your advantage. 
 
Angus is The Journal’s Digital Manager. He’s a second-year History major.
 

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