College doesn’t just have to be about exams and essays. Unbeknownst to many studious college students, TCU offers some fun, alternative classes to lighten up their college experiences. Students should take advantage of the university’s small liberal arts education by branching out of their majors with some unlikely classes. A little-kept secret in the nutrition department is Gourmet Cooking, where students learn the science and basic principles of cooking, prepare a full-out gourmet meal once a week and get to eat it. It’s a requirement for nutrition majors but an elective for everyone else.Anne Vanbeber, who teaches the class, said cooking is a life skill.”Any time you learn a life skill, you gain confidence,” Vanbeber said on the first day of class.As a testament to the importance of knowing how to cook, Gourmet Cooking is one of the few classes at TCU that is evenly divided between men and women.And then there are the physical education classes such as beginning karate, weight lifting, soccer, racquetball, golf, bowling, swim conditioning and scuba diving. In addition to fulfilling UCR requirements, these classes offer a chance to get some exercise. Participants no longer have to wrestle with themselves about hitting the gym because it’s required every other day. There’s no such thing as a blow-off class at TCU, but these alternative classes come pretty close. It’s a win-win situation: elective or UCR requirement, GPA-booster and a life skill you wouldn’t learn in an English class. So take a break, relax a little and sign yourself up for something random next semester.Features editor Amber Parcher for the editorial board.