One thing seems to be on the minds of everyone this time of year: what classes should I take in the fall? It's an exciting and stressful time for everyone, but especially so when you're an incoming first year hearing horror stories about not being able to get any of the classes you want and being stuck in class purgatory. So first off, I'd like to say to everyone, take a deep breath. It will be fine. You may not get your first pick of classes but you will end up taking really cool classes, some of which might surprise you. No, you will not get into criminology your first year (or probably your second or third year either). Popular classes fill up fast and the waitlists are long. Look around at other options.
Now, you're probably wondering when exactly you will get to sign up for your classes. That will be done during orientation over the summer and you will have orientation leaders there to help you create schedules and navigate sign up on SIS. However, you should have a general idea of what sort of classes you want to take before you get to orientation to make the whole process easier on yourself. Keep in mind any AP/IB credits you come in with and the requirements for your school/potential major. For example, in the College of Arts and Sciences there is a foreign language requirement if you, like me, stopped Spanish as soon as possible and didn't place out with the knowledge you retained 2 years later. A good place to look at all the current classes, and how full they are, is on Lou's List. Focus on 1500 and 2000 level classes, which are geared more towards first and second year students.
One of the other important things to keep in mind is timing. Think about when you like to get your day started. If you're not a morning person, try and steer away from 8ams to make actually getting to class more likely. Also remember to block out time to grab lunch/ a snack in the middle of the day. Food is very important and should always be scheduled around. Lastly, when actually creating your schedule pay attention to where your classes are and how much time you give yourself to get there. If you want to get from Gilmer to Wilson in 10 minutes, keep dreaming. The orientation leaders will be really helpful with this so don't be afraid to ask.
Lastly, don't be afraid to take something weird and out of your comfort zone. You have a limited number of semesters to fit in all the classes you need and want to take and there are some surprisingly weird and interesting classes. For me, the class out of my comfort zone was an astronomy class called Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe. While definitely challenging, we got to talk about things like black holes, alternate dimensions, and dark matter. Plus the professor was a really great lecturer, so I highly recommend it. It was the first of 3 classes that I've currently taken geared toward outer space and I have no regrets.