ON looking back over their college work, how few Seniors are satisfied that they have made the best of the advantages which the College affords.
Those who have the most to regret give for their reasons, first, the failure to do conscientious work; and second, the inability or indifference with which they chose their electives. As to an incentive towards the former, we can offer no plan by which a Freshman can be convinced that it is his duty before anything else to do conscientious work in his studies. Our article concerns only the selection of those studies from which a man is likely to derive the most benefit in graduating. What electives one should take for the purpose of making a specialty of them depends upon his inclination and ability; but what we are assured he should take, are courses which shall give him that general knowledge which he has rarely time to acquire after leaving. To be a broad and liberally educated man, one must know a little of everything, and some one thing well. If we undertake to shape our course through college with the idea of a specialty, and make every secondary study a direct companion to the main branch, we shall undoubtedly come out narrow-minded, pedantic scholars, who, prejudiced toward their own branches, know not enough of the branches of others to give them a charitable recognition. Many are the evils which arise from men choosing too hastily and blindly their electives. We may say that in the majority of cases, students have no special tendencies toward any branch. That which is best for them is a general education; but how few Freshmen have any idea of what a general education is! Would it not be well for some broad-minded, popular member of the Faculty to give a lecture at the beginning of the Freshman year, on what he considers constitutes a liberal education? Some would at once say that no man in the Faculty is competent to deliver such a lecture. They would say that any one of them, though he may endeavor to be unprejudiced, still would show more enthusiasm on the subjects toward which his tastes have led him. We will admit this, and can offer as an alternative, that three or even four lectures be given by men representing different branches. Thus students, when they reach their Senior year, can blame but themselves if their knowledge consists only in facts gleaned from electives whose apparent "softness" and convenient hours have been their sole attraction.