VCU offers many one-credit classes that students can take to fill in credit-gaps in their schedules. These classes respectively cover a wide array of content from stress-management classes to gender/sexuality classes to physical wellness classes. UNIV 291, commonly known by students and faculty as “Thrive”, is a class that teaches the 5 basic pillars of well-being. Listed below are 5 reasons to enroll in UNIV 291 during your time at VCU.

1.General Wellness

This course focuses on the five main points of well-being (social, financial, professional, physical, and community) and does a great job at helping students identify the parts of their wellness that could use improvements. Many students don’t realize that there are so many parts to their well-being, so this acts as a great crash-course for students to get a better general education. Students who have completed this course often walk away saying that they know multiple new ways of tending to themselves and their needs.


2.Small Class Size

VCU classes come in all different shapes and sizes, which inherently lead to different learning environments. Due to the small enrollment rate of this course, most of the Thrive classes are between 15-30 students. The nature of this course is based in personal reflection and improvement, so the smaller class size makes it easier to open up and be honest with your classmates. It is also easier to get to know your classmates in this smaller setting, so you automatically make friends to take notes and study with.


3.One Credit

Some students must maintain a certain amount of credit hours per semester in order to meet the requirements for scholarships or grants. This can pose a problem for students that want to meet those requirements but don’t want to get overloaded with the extra work of an additional 3-credit class. One of the great things about Thrive is that it is a one-credit class, so it is perfect to tack onto a schedule that is almost (but not quite) full. It is also helpful for students that are just shy of a graduation requirement in a certain subject; Thrive and other similar one-credit classes are great Humanities credits.


4. Minimal Homework

Because this class is only worth one-credit hour, it does not require a lot of work outside of class. There are some small reading assignments that you should start before the class begins, but the professors that teach this class try not to overwhelm students with work. If there are ever homework assignments, they are very small and require little attention and time to complete. Many students are able to complete these rare out-0f-class assignments while they are still in class.


5.No Tests

There are no exams to go along with each of the five units covered in Thrive. Students enrolled in the course are only required to take one “test” in the entire semester-long course. However, it isn’t a test to panic over. Each professor has a different way of conducting the final exam, but the most common method is through a written reflection. The questions are open for an honest response and can be as thorough or as vague as each student desires based on their own personal reflection.


UNIV 291 (Thrive) is a great course to enroll in at VCU. It offers many different perks that are unavailable through other more traditional classes. Students who have taken Thrive often report that they are overall more well-adjusted individuals and are able to take better care of themselves after taking this class. If you have extra space in your schedule or are interested in learning more about holistic self-care, then Thrive may be the right class for you!


Chandler Girman

Mass Communications major at Virginia Commonwealth University Dallas, Richmond, Philadelphia

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