I am UIC: An LAS student’s guide to electives

This post was originally published on this site

Have you ever been so engaged in the things you’re learning that your head starts to feel as though it’s imploding? That your eyes are open for the first time? That this very moment is the reason you wanted to go to college in the first place?

I’ve had this moment about three times thus far in my time at UIC. Do you want to know the funny part? The majority of classes I have enjoyed the most have not been my major-required classes — they have been my electives. These are the classes that have offered me an outside perspective, pushed my limits and introduced me to different discourse communities happening across the UIC campus.

Have a few credit hours of room for electives? These are just a few suggestions:

  1. Social Justice 101 with Dr. Jun: The first class to the Social Justice minor, this class intrigued me simply because I wanted to know a little bit more about all of the social justice movements that have taken place over the years. From learning about the exploitation of global capitalism and colonialism to the Prison Industrial Complex, this class has given me a comprehensive understanding of the way injustice manifests in multiple facets of society. Such a great class. Engaging topics, bold conversation, and professor Jun is super cool and understanding. I’m even taking another class with her on prisons, because I love her teaching style so much.
  2. Political Science 120: intro to political theory with Dr. Engelmann: Honestly, a very challenging and dense course. But SO thought provoking. A great pre-cursor to Social Justice 101, and forced me to think critically on the foundations of political theory, something I always avoided before taking this course. Left this course feeling super proud of the work and thought I put into it.
  3. English 202: Intro to Media & Professional Writing with Dr. Christian. I’m definitely writing about this course because I am partial to writing, but I think it is so helpful to anyone interested in making something out of writing! Before this course, I had no idea that writing was a commodity in the professional world. Dr. Christian is huge on networking, helping us with job opportunities, and provided us with coursework closely connected with what we will be doing in the “real world.” Super grateful I took this class, as it has helped prepare me for my career after college.

I am learning that every subject we learn, everything we explore, is interconnected. Find a professor who studies a subject you think is cool. Take his or her class. Take a class on a subject that makes you uncomfortable. Strive to understand why that makes you uncomfortable and learn from that!

Thanks for reading. Now, enjoy!

Abigail Floresca is a junior majoring in criminology, law and justice with a minor in professional writing. Writing is how she connects, processes, expresses and relates to the rest of the world. Increasingly aware of the power of storytelling in bringing about change and reform, Abigail earnestly seeks to find a way to incorporate a perfect blend of writing and social work within the criminal justice system — she dreams of bringing about a positive change, one story at a time. At UIC, she is involved in campus ministry; conducts research with the criminology, law and justice department; interns with the Chicago Justice Project, and loves exploring new places downtown.