Picking classes can be really confusing and even a little stressful, but if you follow these tips on what you should and should not do when registering for classes, it can be really exciting!
You should refer to the Course Catalog.
Each school has a course catalog — this is typically an online site in which your school describes all the courses at your school. You’re given a brief description of the course itself (whether it be a core class or just an elective) and also any of the prerequisites* necessary to take that class. Referring to this can make your enrollment so much easier, as you will have a general idea of what you need to do before you’re under the official pressure of registering.
*A “prerequisite” (“prereq” for short) is just a fancy term to describe classes you need to take before you enroll in a specific class.
You should not pick based on time.
If you find a class you are really interested in or you find one that is very important for you to take, but it’s at a bad time, don’t let it stop you from enrolling in it! Great courses are worth the time, even if it's an 8 a.m. or an 8 p.m. class. Having these classes under your belt will be worth it and you'll find out that classes at those times won't be that bad.
If these extra early or extra late classes truly are just not for you, talk to your academic adviser about any other options available — some classes can be taken online instead, making it on your own time!
You should pick interesting electives.
Yes, getting all the important core classes are really important, but take this time in college to explore and learn a ton of new things! Taking electives is a great way to learn more about something you’re interested in and they can even count toward credits you need to graduate.
Bonus tip: Lots of electives can count toward your major or minor so keep an eye out for those.
You should not rely on Rate My Professor.
Pretty much everyone says to refer to Rate My Professor, a website where you can look up your class instructors and read previous students comments on them. The site seems to be a perfect way to choose a class or get prepared for what you may encounter. However, I highly recommend not using this website, as you will only read reviews from people who either loved or hated that professor. It’s better to go in with an open mind and get an opinion for yourself!
If you are really not clicking with your professor and it’s starting to affect your performance in that class, talk to your academic adviser and try switching into a different instructor’s class.
Lead Image Credit: Middlebury