UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS at WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY in ST. LOUIS

A Page from Last Spring Semester

Now that registration dates are (or already have) coming up really soon, I’ve been somewhat forced to recall my relationship with spring semester classes from last year. Especially because I’ve so often come across the title “Freshman Seminar” while scouring through possible courses to register for next semester.

If there’s one thing I regret about my class choices from last year — despite the fact that all the classes I took were great; second semester was definitely an amazing experience — it would be that I didn’t take more freshman seminars. After all, you only have two semesters to get in as many of those as you can before you’re locked out of them for the rest of your college career. And I, being rather focused on getting in prerequisites and major/minor requirements, only ended up taking two freshman seminars throughout the course of my freshie year.

The one I took spring semester was called Literature of Post-Adolescence and focused on … well, exactly that. As you may already have realized, reading for fun has become a luxury for many of us. When I took Post-Adolescence Lit, I don’t think I could remember the last time I picked up a book for fun. Since high school, books had become more “classroom materials” over “hobbies.”

So, I was a little out-of-practice when it came to reading. And on the first day of class, when I found out that we had to read 200 pages of a book in two days … oh, yeah. My jaw dropped.

However, sticking with that class had to be one of the best decisions of my year. Not only did it help me discover one of my favorite books of all time, but the class (which was made up of a whopping eight students) was completely discussion-based and amazingly thought-provoking. Our talks ranged from social issues to debates on literary interpretation, and I enjoyed every single one of them.

Donna Tart’s The Secret History – now officially part of my list of favorite books!

Of course, if you’re not interested in reading a new book every week, you’ll find freshman seminars in a number of other subjects to enjoy. They can range from being low-maintenance to being a lot of work, but either way, I’ve only heard great things about them. After all, my experience ended up being one of the best of my semester.