Whether we like it or not, it’s that time of year again to begin the process of registering for next semester’s classes.
Signing up for courses generally has two stages. When information is first released about what will be available in the coming semester many students eagerly investigate the depths of SIS (Student Information Systems) and Lou’s List to weigh their options and work out preliminary schedules that hopefully avoid 8 a.m.’s and Friday classes. There is a comfortable buffer of time between this stage and one’s actual sign up time that allows for some exploration.
When your enrollment appointment time approaches however, so does a degree of anxiety. As a rising second year I have to be more aware of choosing classes that will fit into certain majors I am considering. Although most students don’t declare until the end of their second year it is still a good idea to begin considering your options early. When it comes to enrollment appointment times you’re either lucky or likely to be stressed out. Waiting lists are never a fun time, but are often a reality for many people. Popular classes like Social Psychology and necessary classes like foreign language requirements (especially 2000-level Spanish) can be incredibly difficult to get into.
First years generally have more freedom and less risk in choosing classes as they have not yet declared a major. It is a good idea in this time to experiment with a variety of classes in order to gauge where you might have interests (especially if you are undecided on you major). In many ways students are forced to do this to fulfill area requirement for the College of Arts and Sciences. Engineering and other schools have requirements to fulfill as well and are allowed to take courses outside of their designated school.
In my first year I have taken some good and some not so good classes. Despite some less than enjoyable experiences with certain classes however it has been a worthwhile experiment in getting me closer to picking a major. So, as a first year my best advice is to take the opportunity you have to try out classes in seemingly random departments – you may not get the chance to do so later on in your career!