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Point/Counterpoint | Should you take a lifetime leisure skills course?

Opinions Editor Sophia Meador and Opinions columnist Chris Klepach debate on whether you should take a lifetime leisure skills course.

October 4, 2022

Yes


Lifetime leisure skills courses at the University of Iowa are too beneficial for students to miss out on. 

Many of the classes provide practical knowledge on activities that go beyond the confines of a classroom. 

Team-building is a course designed to give enrolled students insight into what good teamwork looks like. Cooperative group games, physical obstacles, and team challenges are examples of what the class does to create team-building skills.

The course also teaches students to use that knowledge in aspects of their own life, socially, or on the job.

From the perspective of an employer, team building is a foundational tool, as 69 percent of managers say they are generally uncomfortable communicating with their employees. Team building enables employees to find their own strengths and encourages approachability of those in managerial roles. 

Team-building skills and exercises ensure better communication and interwork relations. 

If we make lifetime leisure skills classes mandatory, there are classes on the table that are far more approachable. Gardening: Designing Edible Forests organizes field trips to small residential sites where students learn to create a self-watering landscape in an ethical way. Only organic methods are used for managing weeds and pests. 

Having a relaxing classroom environment is much needed, as nearly 79 percent of UI undergraduate students reported a moderate or high stress level during the 2020-21 academic year. Lifetime leisure skills classes teach valuable lessons to students that can be used in the real world and can enrich their experience at the UI.

Overall, mandatory lifetime leisure skills classes would provide an invaluable resource for a student to broaden their horizons beyond a cubicle.

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No


University of Iowa courses that fall under lifetime leisure skills are not worth your time or the tuition money.

Lifetime leisure skills courses include team building, kickboxing, golfing, and canoeing. While these classes may sound fun, taking classes just for fun won’t help you graduate.

While I have not taken a lifetime leisure skills course before, I have been in online courses. Some classes online are general education courses that are required for graduation, but the curriculum is less significant and time-consuming than electives. 

Although these classes are designed to be easy, it’s easier to forget about these courses. This leads students to let course work build up — if they don’t forget about it entirely.

I know several intelligent students who ended with bad grades in “fun” or “easy” courses because they forgot about their online courses or their lifetime leisure skills course fell off their radar.

While this can’t be said about every student, the fact is, college students are overwhelmed. Although a lifetime leisure skills course might seem like a fun idea, it will ultimately become an additional chore on your task list.

Yes, almost 79 percent of UI students are stressed, and that issue goes beyond canoeing. 

You don’t need to take a lifetime leisure skills course to discover new skills. There are plenty of ways to gain beneficial life skills in your community for free.

This can include participating in free events at the Iowa City Public Library, learning hands-on at the community garden plots, or going to workshops at the UI’s libraries. 

Focus on classes that apply to your major and save the extra time for life outside of school.

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