According the author of “GEs are waste,” “College is supposed to help us to pick one subject to major and succeed in.” The Aims of a BYU Education, however, states college should be “spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging and character building, leading to lifelong learning and service.” GEs are not a waste; they are what make a college degree valuable.
GE classes are flexible. A passionate English student isn’t stuck integrating and deriving for a semester because of irrelevant GE requirements. She could study Spanish, French or Chinese to fulfill the same requirement and gain a knowledge of another culture’s literature in the process.
The author said GE courses are too difficult and distract from a student’s major, stating, “by requiring students to take these difficult classes, stress levels rise and we are not able to perform to our best abilities.” College is supposed to be difficult, and college graduates are valuable to employers because they have proven they can succeed under stress.
As BYU students, we recognize the importance of a college degree; it is why we are spending thousands of dollars to earn one. College degrees are so respected in our society because they represent a level of expertise in our major but also a higher level of critical thinking and knowledge of the world skills fostered in many GE classes.
Without a core curriculum, a college degree would become more like a certificate of proficiency rather than the symbol of higher-level thinking it is.