So, you're leaving high school behind for college, and have sat down to begin choosing your college courses. You know what you want to go to school for, you've picked your area of study, and you've registered. Now that you're picking those courses, you may find yourself staring at a page of mandatory electives, or areas of study your program covers that you're not interested in. If you're fortunate enough to enter college knowing what you want to do in life, you may ask yourself why you should care about these extra courses. After all, in high school, we all had at least one subject we didn't like. Whether it was math, or french, or geography, there was at least one class that we were glad to leave behind when we arrived at college.But don't write electives off, and don't be afraid to take classes that seem to have little to do with your chosen profession. It isn't the same in college, with its emphasis on giving students valuable, useful life skills that open a path to employment. Take, for example, the case of Anthony Geremia, a student who benefitted hugely from an area of study he didn't originally think he needed.

Anthony entered Centennial College as part of its joint program with the University of Toronto, studying Journalism. He knew what he wanted to do, and that was write stories. English and essays were his strong suit, and he was going to parlay that into a career creating copy for newspapers, magazines, websites, and radio. But, as part of the course load, he was required to study digital photography, and even needed to purchase his own digital SLR camera to do so. Anthony balked at this. He wasn't into photography, and didn't intend to pursue a career in it. As far as he was concerned, he was a writer, not a visual artist. But he needed to for the program, and so he did. Over the course of two semesters, he grudgingly learned all about the camera, photo composition, and Photoshop. Little did he know that he would soon be grateful he had.

When school ended and Anthony searched for part time work, it turned out that his photography skill made him extremely appealing to employers. Freelance photography opened doors to easy money and part-time work, and an entirely different, fun career path. He wound up working for a newspaper as a photographer, a school photo company taking class pictures, and a school board doing photography and making media for their summer camp programs. It was that last one that inspired him to change tracks in life. He'd enjoyed doing media work so much that he eventually returned to Centennial for a grad certificate in Corporate Communications and Public Relations. And he'd earned enough money from his work that a post-grad was within the realm of financial possibility. Indeed, most of the money he made was thanks to photography, and the opportunities for employment it gave him.

And to think, all of these opportunities came from a subject he hadn't even wanted to take. So, don't write electives off. When picking your courses, dabble. Choose unusual, strange things you have no experience in, and expand your skill set. You never know what you'll turn out to be good at, and what will give you a job, money, and a career. College is about picking up useful life skills, so there's never really a wrong class to take. You may just discover a new path in life, and be happier for it.