Students Share the Best Classes to Take at the University of Maryland

By Savannah Williams
For Unwind magazine

With registration season in the air, students are itching to get into the best classes. Unwind set out to find the cream of the crop, and here’s what students had to say about their most enjoyable courses.

Mary Acevedo, a freshman neurophysiology major, was sitting in the sunshine listening to her iPod when she shared her favorite elective, MUSC210. Acevedo said this class, titled “The Impact of Music on Life,” has been all about the intersection of specific cultures and music, and how one affects the other — a field called ethnomusicology.

“I think that’s the one I’ve enjoyed the most, because it’s something totally outside of my major and it’s different,” said Acevedo. “There are a lot of different people in that class — and it’s just been cool to get to know people, and get to know a subject that’s not something that I would usually do.”

Branching out like this is certainly a practice freshman journalism major Analeigh Hughes would recommend.  

“You should definitely try to take an elective that would interest you, and something that you might not be able to study otherwise,” Hughes said. This was one of the reasons she enrolled in the I-Series course NFSC220 — called “Diet: Is it a cause or a solution” — this semester.

“[The class] is teaching me a lot about other things that I wouldn’t be able to learn about in a journalism or humanities-type class,” Hughes said.

This course, Hughes said, focuses a lot on food systems, sustainability and the effect of diet on chronic diseases. She was disappointed that the course wasn’t as discussion-based as she anticipated when reading the syllabus, but said, “I’m still learning a lot in it and it’s still interesting.”

Hughes’s friend, freshman criminology major Mar Labarbera, likewise found her favorite elective outside the standard bounds of her field of study, in PSYC289D: “Living the Good Life: The Psychology of Happiness.”

Labarbera said the class “didn’t teach you how to be happy, but it teaches you how to make the best out of situations, or how to handle certain things, which was helpful in my first semester in college.”

She also appreciated that the course’s aims weren’t quantitative, but rather qualitative.

“I think it was interesting that it wasn’t just learning to take a test — I applied it to how I went about things in my life, if that makes sense,” Labarbera said.

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