When you start college, you often have little say in what classes you get to take. In the first semester, colleges usually have requirements students need to get out of the way. But now that your first semester is almost over, students are registering for their spring classes. Here is a little advice to help get you set up for next semester.
Know your major classes (and core requirements)
If you’ve already declared your major or have a pretty good idea of what you want to study, do some quick research on what your required classes are. Most of the time, this will include an introductory class, a lab, and some other prerequisites for any major-based electives. Colleges will also have a core set of general education classes that every student must take.
Figure out a time
Do you want to work during the semester? Get an internship? Or do you just work better in the morning? Have an outline of what times you want when looking at the classes. While it’s not always possible to work within those parameters, you can weigh your schedule in your favor for the most part.
Have a couple schedules
Especially as a freshman, there is no guarantee you’ll get the classes you want. So it’s a good idea to have a couple alternative schedules in mind. This could include a whole new schedule or just a list of alternative electives. This will help you not only get into classes that interest you but also alleviate some of that immediate pressure and fear from registering for classes.
Meet with your advisor
This should go without saying, but meeting with your advisor is crucial to making sure you have a plan for the upcoming semesters. The important thing to think about is what to discuss when you meet your advisor.
First, when you enter your meeting, introduce yourself with your full name. It seems small, but when they’re searching through files, just going off of “Madison” isn’t going to be of much use to them.
Be concise. Have a solid plan of what classes you want to take and have them weigh in. If you want to study abroad, talk to them about that too! Figure out a game plan for subsequent semesters so you can study abroad. Knowing what you want going in will make future conversations with your advisor a lot easier.
Know the call numbers
When you finally sit down to register for classes online, the best plan of action is to have a list of the classes with the call numbers open in a window next to the registration page. That way you don’t have to look for a number while you’re trying to register.
Course registration can be a little scary, but you’ll be fine. Just keep these tips in mind over the next couple of weeks. Good luck and have a wonderful semester!
For more tips on course selection and everything else class related, check out our Majors and Academics section.