With over 160 majors, you would be surprised by some of subjects Penn State offers courses in. Thanks to general education requirements and lots of flexibility within majors and minors, there’s plenty of room to take fun and unique classes outside of your major. Plus, once your classes start becoming more challenging, it’s nice to pick a class that mixes up your schedule a bit! In honor of recently scheduling my last semester at Penn State (#sobbing), I asked around to some of my fellow to seniors to see what fun courses made their list for their final semesters at Dear Old State. These all sound like fantastic courses to me.
- KINES 045: NAUI Basic Scuba
Brian Shiue – Senior, History and Political Science
Have you ever dreamed of scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef? I certainly have! While the pools of Penn State’s Natatorium may not be as glamorous—or whirling with exciting aquatic life—scuba diving still seems like a fun yet challenging skill to learn. You can take this class as one of your health and fitness general education requirements. Plus, if you get a good grade, you have the option to participate in a trip during spring semester that travels to the island of St. Lucia to go diving and get SCUBA certified. Hello, tropical vacation!
2. HORT 352: Flower Arranging
Kate Marrington – Senior, Elementary Education
As part of the Penn State Advanced Floral Design Group, I actually did take this class a few semesters back, so it wasn’t difficult for me to provide a summary. At first glance, this class might seem a bit silly, but you actually learn about the science and technique behind taking care of plants, which is really helpful to know for when you have your own apartment. You also get to take home your creations, so every week you’ll be able to show off your work and have a lovely arrangement in your dorm/apartment! Doesn’t get much better than that! Don’t be fooled—both boys and girls take this class. Floral arranging is known to be therapeutic and stress relieving, and if you find that you really enjoy it, you can move on to be part of the Advanced Floral Group and design arrangements for the Nittany Lion Inn and other nearby hotels.
3. SOC 019: Sociology of Popular Culture
Kari Hartbauer – Senior, Psychology
Most of the time when you think of pop culture, you think of major icons of an era such as Elvis Presley or Madonna. Think, Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”—but did you ever think of learning about everything from a scholarly perspective? This is such an intriguing way to look at history and how society influences what becomes popular. Sociology classes are meant to ask you questions—about people, life, and even yourself. It’s definitely outside the box.
4. PHOTO 100: Introduction to Photography
Emily Duke- Senior, Advertising and Public Relations (That’s me!)
Put those expert Instagram skills to the test! This class—offered in both standard and online versions—is very popular as an arts elective. It examines photography from exploratory and artistic perspectives, and highlights how many different fields utilize photography every day. Check out a new place on campus that you’ve never seen before, or rediscover an old treasure through the eyes of your camera lens. The course even allows you to develop your own portfolio of digital photos, although you may want to expand upon selfies and photos of your dinner. #foodoftheday probably isn’t going to guarantee you that A…