Making a transition from high school to college comes with a lot of freedom and choice. The good news is that there is a lot of freedom and choice for you. The bad news is that, well, there is so much freedom of choice, you can end up getting overwhelmed. Thus, it is not surprising that one of the most challenging things for first-year students is how to pick the first semester of college classes.
1. Ask the senior students
Asking the senior students sound like a no-brainer. It is surprising how many students fail to think of it first. When choosing classes for your first semester of college and beyond, it would be in your interest to speak to the upper-classmen first. They have been in the system before you and had a better understanding of how things work. They know which lectures you should not schedule back-to-back, which ones to better have in the day, etc.
Speaking of scheduling.
2. Work your schedules
Remember how the school dictated when you had certain courses in high school? That power is now in your hands. You will be able to choose whether to have your classes in the day or push them to the evenings. The mistake most students make is to want to push off all their work in the evenings.
3. Check for compulsory (Gen Ed) courses
Some colleges have a compulsory set of courses – referred to as the General Education (Gen. Ed) requirements – that their students need to take before graduation. They could be in subjects such as mathematics, English, writing, and history. Being aware of these courses will help you structure your classes and total workload in such a way that it adds those compulsory courses (spread over your duration on campus, of course) without affecting your main courses. That leads us to the next point.
4. Remember your Major
This is for those who entered college with a set major in mind. We know it is fun to be able to choose a couple of courses after scheduling classes for your major. What would be wrong is not choosing something else that is in line with your major.
Even though the recommended classes will cover the scope of your major, who said you couldn’t get an edge with a related class?
5. Check Rate My Professor
Rate My Professor should be one of your very best friends, if not your best friend when choosing college classes.
The website gives you reviews on different professors in your school, helping you know the kind of person you are going to meet in the classroom.
Of course, there will always be that student who just doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the professor and thus leaves a skewed review. Generally, though, the site will offer you an honest statement based on consensus.
Before setting foot in that class, decide if they are the kind of person you would want to have in front of you in a learning space.