By: Avi Kohanzadeh  | 

Time is Money

As a science major, I can express a two-fold opinion on YU’s recent decision to abolish the Natural World (NAWO) core requirement for all science majors and students pursuing a pre-health education track. On one hand, I am pleased that the school was finally able to sit down and piece together a final conclusive decision on the matter. On the other hand, however, I do feel a little ripped off. As a pre-med student and biology major, I was pressured by my advisors and the deans of the school to take NAWO in the Fall of 2016, as were many other science students. I was told at the time that the likelihood of NAWO becoming abolished was slim and I should simply get it out of the way early as a favor to myself. While the class may have interested some of my peers, as someone who has taken a fair share of advanced biology and chemistry courses and various labs, I found it to be  a waste of time. I took NAWO to cross it off my list of requirements holding me back from graduation. For YU to come out now and permanently rid its existence for everyone pursuing a health career is severely unfair for those who were misinformed by the school faculty and forced to sit around for three hours a week listening to a lecture that was centred and designed for someone who didn’t know what a cell was.

So, am I annoyed? Yes, of course. It’s a little inconvenient, and I know countless pre-health students who have stayed an extra semester for the pure purpose of taking NAWO. For some, this decision has significantly quickened their path to graduate school and enabled them to take entrance level exams such as the PCAT, MCAT or DAT a little earlier than anticipated. For others, it potentially delayed this process and possibly pushed graduate school off by a semester or two. I’m not one to judge the fairness of this decision, as I’m sure it will not change anyone’s ultimate career aspirations or goals to a degree worth stressing over. Regardless of such, I do feel that YU and its administration have a duty to bridge some level of compensation or credit for those students who took and respected the essence of the core despite wholeheartedly knowing it was a waste of time.

There is a saying that goes “time is money.” The NAWO course is without a doubt guilty of wasting the time of many science students, and now that it is no longer needed to graduate the school administration should be burdened with finding a non-monetary form of compensation for students such as myself. A worthy suggestion could be using the NAWO core as a substation for a different core of equal credit value. Ultimately, it is announcements such as these which force me to lean back in my chair on the fourth floor, take a sip of coffee, and humorously whisper under my breath “nowhere but here.”