Ah, tis the season to register for classes. This is an exciting time, but it can be rather stressful. There are hundreds of classes to choose from in practically every subject imaginable. Looking through the course listings catalogue can provide entertainment and is a good way to procrastinate. However, while choosing classes for the upcoming semester, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
Here’s a few tips for planning your schedule:
- Meet with your advisor in person. It’s much easier to ask questions and talk through your tentative plan that way. He/she can make sure that you are on the right track, and aren’t taking a group of classes that will be too difficult or too easy. Your advisor knows how to help create a balanced schedule.
- Definitely have back up classes. As the upperclassmen get to register first, courses can sometimes fill up quickly. While you should have a temporary schedule to start off with, make sure that it is flexible in case one of the classes is full. This will make registration day much easier and less stressful.
- That being said, get on the waitlists for classes you want to take, even if they fill up. People shift their schedules around a lot before and during the first couple weeks of class, and often times a large portion of the waitlists can be accepted into the class. Definitely do not give up hope if the course you are really looking forward to is initially full.
- Try to give yourself a lunch break. Having a few classes in a row is doable, but it’s tiring. Scheduling yourself a break in between classes to eat, study, and see friends can be an amazing thing during the stressful weeks of the school year.
- Be prepared when registration day comes. Know your time to register, and set an alarm for a few minutes before so you are already on WebSTAC when the time comes. This will give you the best chance to get into your favorite courses.
- Ask upperclassmen or other friends what professors and classes are like if you are unsure. While their opinions should not completely guide yours, asking a variety of people to get a general consensus on a certain course or teacher can be extremely helpful for having a successful and enjoyable semester.
- Challenge yourself. Especially in the first couple semesters, you are definitely not tied to one specific path. Take courses that interest you and challenge you, so you get the full experience of what the university can offer (it’s a lot!!) I decided to take my first philosophy class this year, and I love it.
These tips should be useful when registration season comes around next time.
Enjoy, and happy class hunting!