But sometimes I would sit in chemistry class and wonder what my education would look like if I had more choices. I haven’t balanced a reaction in years, but I find myself now without basic statistics knowledge that would have been so great to learn back then, and probably just as enriching.
One way I got around some of these problems was by taking online classes in what I was particularly interested in: math, computer science and writing. These free online lectures taught by university professors are called MOOCs: Massive Online Open Courses. I would have weekly assignments, occasional quizzes, and would often end the course with a project.
The amount this helped me in college is surreal. I was lucky in that my high school taught Java, but with MOOCs I entered college knowing MATLAB, Python and Lisp, as well as public key cryptography and the basics of editing. I’ve included the links to some of the sites I used below. If you’re ever sitting around bored and looking for ways to get the most out of your education, I couldn’t recommend these sites more. The advantage I had entering college was huge.
-- Joanna Slusarewicz