By Skyler Ash
Last year I took a class called fairy tales and fantasies. We had to read Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, and people got into debates so heated that my teacher had to break it up. I honestly thought one of my classmates was going to be murdered because of their thoughts on Ron Weasley’s character (to be fair though, his opinion was garbage, and if we decided to take him out, I would have stood watch). I’ve heard from one of my former classmates that this professor has since taken the book off of his syllabus.
But I wouldn’t have gotten to witness this beautiful and deadly three-week screaming match on my favourite childhood book if I had taken a history minor I thought about doing in first year. I wouldn’t have gotten to write an essay on Winnie-the-Pooh or read the incredibly disturbing Grimm fairy tales, some of which still haunt me in my dreams.
To get a minor at Ryerson, you have to take six courses in one subject area over the course of your degree. To take a history minor, I would have had to take a more research-based course, which didn’t interest me. Why would I pay hundreds of dollars for a class like that when I could use that money to take something else?
This week, our paper features a news story about how taking a minor is a good thing, that employers sometimes value it and that it’s good to develop a specialized skillset. This is particularly useful for languages, as being bilingual can be an asset in many different careers.
But I don’t care. University is the time to take whatever you want. I didn’t want to be held back from taking all the things I was interested in. And because of that decision, I’ve taken a bunch of courses from different faculties, and it’s been a slice. I have weirdly specialized knowledge on Canada’s involvement in the First World War, I know more than I’d care to about theories in science fiction literature and I know the Spanish names for a ton of fruits and vegetables. (My personal favourite is zanahoria, which is the Spanish word for carrot).
So take whatever you want. All your employer really cares about is that you are the best person for a job. Being qualified is so much more than having taken six politics courses or six biology classes. You’re more than what you put on your resumé, so fuck it. Take what you want.