After selecting a college, choosing your classes is the next most difficult decision. You have to consider what you’re going to enjoy, what you’re good at, and what will get you into the career of your choice – it’s certainly not easy! Here are our top tips for choosing your classes.
Start with your major
If you already know your major, you should start by looking at the courses that will fulfill the requirements in that area. This will make it a little easier for you. If you don’t yet know your major, check out what classes are required across-the-board that you have to take. Try to make a plan for the next few years that lead to you leaving college with the degree you want, then work backward.
Consider your schedule
Unless you have a Time-Turner like Hermione, you are going to have to think about making a schedule that works for you. Between four and six classes each semester is an excellent place to start, and if possible, spread them out throughout the week to create a balance between classes, studying and any other activities you might like to partake in.
Speak to your adviser
If you find making these decisions a little hard or you just want someone to bounce your ideas off of, head to your adviser. You can ask them any questions about the classes you are looking at choosing, and get their professional opinion on anything you are struggling to decide – it’s what they’re there for!
The earlier you register for classes, the more likely you are to get into the classes you want as your first choices. Of course, even if you register super early, you may need some backup options in case the others are full, or there are any issues.
Going from high school to college can be a big culture shock, so try to ease yourself into your classes if possible. Start with slightly easier options and then work your way up to the harder classes. Try to arrange your semesters to have different types of classes too, so that you don’t end up having six heavy papers to write in one week. A mixture will help to keep things interesting and stop you getting too bogged down in the same sorts of classes.
Use your college credits and placement exams
Remember that any college credits you earned in high school can potentially be used to fulfill some of your core college requirements. Do your research to see what can be used where to give yourself a great head start. College placement exams can also sometimes be used to get you out of required courses if you scored particularly well.
Although it can be a little scary and stressful choosing your classes in college, it can also be an amazingly exciting opportunity to try new things, carry on a life-long passion, or just take the first step in landing your dream career. Remember that there is help and support available if you really struggle and it’s okay if you need to switch courses.