Choosing Classes:The Hunger Games of College

It is that time of year again (or the first time for freshman students)….

It is the dreaded time to choose next semester’s classes.

Did I just instill a small bit of panic into your already tired-of-school soul? I am deeply sorry, I am here to help you figure out how to lessen the burden of planning out the sixteen weeks of your life after Christmas break.  So here you go: five tips on how to make choosing classes a tad bit easier.

1. BE INFORMED.

Take the initiative to find out what is going on in the academic world of college. Pay attention to your catalog and your requirements. Do not leave this responsibility to your advisor or expect that they will do the work for you, they advise.  Ask for your catalog and read descriptions of classes. You can usually get a copy of your catalog in the Admissions department. Also, ask your professors what classes they will be teaching, you could be getting inside information. Take responsibility for your higher education; after all you are the one paying tuition.

2. BALANCE YOUR LOAD

Right now is the time to face the fact that there are other important responsibilities besides our school work.  School and outside activities need to offset one another.  Do not overwork yourself by taking six senior level courses that require hours-upon-hours of seclusion in your dorm room; not seeing the light until spring break.  Be reasonable, do not think that you can be the exception and take on eighteen credits, ten weekly activities, a social life and a healthy dose of sleep.

3. FOLLOW YOUR INTERESTS

We all have those classes that we are not looking forward to and we just have to make the best of it. However, we do have those classes where we get a little bit of freedom and choice. Take for example: a history requirement. We offer Asia History, History of Greece and Rome, Western Civilization and plenty more; so even if history is not your cup of iced mocha latte, you might be able to find a class that you can at least stay awake in and partially enjoy.   This is your time; do not waste it by being unnecessarily miserable.

4. TRY SOMETHING NEW

WE ARE IN COLLEGE! This is the time where we get to figure out our lives by investing in things we are already passionate about and finding new things to be passionate about. You have 21 open credit hours? GREAT! You can use this time to try new things. Have you always wanted to learn a new language?  Learn one! Get out there and try things, and if you do not like something at least you know for future reference.

5. ASK AROUND

Friends make everything better, including that dreaded 8 am lecture without your coffee. So ask your friends. There are classes that can count for a variety of requirements across the majors. So find your best friend forever and sign up for a class together! It makes it easier come class time. You have an automatic person to look awkwardly across the room at for group assignments and a study buddy.

So, if you find yourself messing up or that the class you wanted is full, remember this one last tip: BREATHE.  This is only for sixteen weeks; this is not the rest of your life.  It may be stressful and may seem like the most important thing right now, but remember to breathe and put this time into perspective.