EducationSocial Issues

Going Beyond Program Requirements

Oftentimes we can get caught up in the whirlwind that is school. More specifically, in university where we’re expected to meet our program’s requirements, study, work part-time jobs, volunteer and on top of all that, somehow still manage to have a social life. As students, I’m sure we all understand how stressful school can get, so much so that it even takes the joy out of learning. School is all about balance, but oh boy, is it hard! 

Fortunately, there are several ways to lighten our school workload, making it easier to balance everything else that’s going on in our lives.

Instead of just sticking to your program requirements, why not just take a completely fun and easy elective? You’ll still get a credit for it, and even get to learn something new and interesting!

After all, education isn’t all about the things you need to learn, but also the things you want to learn. And who knows, maybe by taking these courses you’ll be inspired to take more courses within their respective departments or even change your interests!

Universities have a multitude of fun courses to offer. Have a look at what some schools have to bring to the table.

University of Alberta 

Monsters, Slashers and Ghosts (FS 324 B1)


Love scary movies? This course may just be the one for you. Horror films are examined as a way to question our fears and worries. From classic monster movies like Vampyr and Frankenstein to even television shows such as The Walking Dead and American Horror Story, this course will surely be a feast for the eyes.

University of British Columbia

Introduction to Museums and Museology (ANTH 241)


This course analyzes museums as social establishments for cultural materials and research. These museums have artifacts that date back from the 19th century all the way to the present. 

University of Guelph



If you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, now is the time to do so. University of Guelph offers many courses in languages such as Chinese, French, Greek, Latin, Portuguese and Spanish. These courses can be taken as broad or advanced level sections.  

University of King’s College

The Artist and Society – David Bowie (CTMP2335.03)


All things Bowie will be considered in this course. It will use Bowie’s work as a focus on pop culture and how he has influenced other artists and movements.

University of Ottawa

Personality (PSY3303)


This course explores the major theories of personality through its characteristics and schools of thought. The founders of each school are also studied. By taking this lecture, you might get to know yourself and others a little bit better.

Queen’s University

Field Biology I (BIOL 307)


Image courtesy of Queen’s University Biology Department

Many field courses are helpful for bringing course materials to life. Through them you can gain a better understanding of what was taught in lecture and how it applies to the “real world”. Like many field courses, this one takes place during various seasons in different areas of the world, has small class sizes and typically last a week or two. 

University of Toronto at Scarborough

Edible History of Global Foodways (HISB14H3)


This course explores how history has impacted eating traditions around the world. This includes imperialism, migration and urbanization. The best part is, lectures are accompanied with cooking demonstrations (yum!). 

University of Waterloo

Exploring the Fiction World


The University of Waterloo has a lot of courses on famous comic books and book series. This includes The Superhero (ENGL 108A), a class that examines prominent heroes across time through different media. There’s also a course called Tolkien: From Book to Film (ENGL 108T), which studies The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings along with their respective movies. My personal favourite would be Popular Potter (ENGL 108P), which looks at all of the 7 novels and their impact on culture. 

University of Western Ontario

Social Media, Virtual Gaming and Networked Life (2155A/B)


Can’t get off social media and gaming? No need. This course will explore just that as well as topics such as identity, gender and culture within the digital world.

And there you go! I have listed some cool courses from a few selected schools.  There’s a lot more out there waiting to be discovered. So do some research on what your school has in store for you — taking electives just may be what you need to accomplish the balancing act that is life as a student.


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