Let’s be real — a tough course load can ruin a quarter. Sometimes all it takes is that one good class in a packed schedule to catch your breath, let a little loose, and learn something new in the process. With enrollment approaching, I reflected on my last three years at UC San Diego and thought up a list of some classes I’ve definitely appreciated taking. Whether you’re a senior wanting to bulk up your schedule a bit, a freshman looking for a good general education class, or just someone who wants to experience all campus has to offer, consider enrolling in some of these “funner” classes.
Any TDMV class
Did you know that you can get credit for taking a dance class? I’ve been wanting to take a Dance Movement class for a while, and I finally enrolled in TDMV 138, Beginning Hip Hop, this quarter. I took ballet and jazz when I was a kid but hip hop is arguably very out of my comfort zone, but I figured it would be a fun challenge, and I’m glad I decided to take it! TDMV has courses in almost all genres of dance, including ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, Latin, West African, Asian, and more. These classes are a great way of getting cardio and toning in during the school day as well.
TDGE 11 – Great Performances on Film
I chose a theatre sequence as one of my GE’s, and I was surprised that many theatre classes are actually film classes. This was my favorite class that I took in the sequence; the course is all about watching movies centered around a particular theme and analyzing them. I think the theme of my course was “Psycho Moms,” so we watched films like Carrie, Psycho, and Alien. It is a three-hour class, though, but my friend and I would stop by a market on the way to class to pick up some snacks that we could eat during the movie.
A Freshman Seminar
If you’re a first-year, consider enrolling in a freshman seminar, which are listed as Department-Name 87 in the Course Catalog (ex. COGS 87, ANTH 87). These are smaller classes, usually capped at around 20-30 students, making them a more intimate way to get to know your fellow students and your professor. The topics change every quarter and the classes only meet for an hour or so a week, so they’re pretty low commitment and you get to learn about some interesting things! I took one called “Limits of Science” as a freshman (it was listed as COGS 87), where we discussed religion, spirituality, and the mind in relation to science. I remember being blown away every week because we explored ideas I had never thought of before, and it was a really enjoyable class.
LIGN 5 – The Linguistics Of Invented Languages
You may only hear a few words or phrases of an invented language in a movie or show, but in order to be believable, they still have to follow the rules of linguistics! In this class, you study invented languages like Na’vi or Esperanto, but you also get to construct your own language. The creator of Game of Thrones language Dothraki, David Peterson, actually got his MA in Linguistics from UCSD, so there’s no better place to learn about this topic.
My biggest advice when choosing a “fun class” is to dig through the course catalog for subject areas that you’re passionate about but not majoring in. Maybe you’re interested in creative writing or you’re thinking about going into business. UCSD offers so many classes that it’s hard not to find one you’ll like. School doesn’t have to be stressful all the time — if you have space in your schedule, consider taking some classes to explore your personal interests and get out of your comfort zone.