By Staff Writer Tighe Ratcliffe.
As the fall semester is coming to an end, so begins the time-old tradition of choosing courses for the up-coming semester. Even for seasoned college students this can be a rough time, but for Freshman the task can seem daunting. Especially for those who are undeclared in their majors. With so many majors and classes to choose from, it can be a confusing time.
An important message to keep in mind is “what sort of things interest me?” During your college years you are exposed to so many different possibilities of things to study. You may even find that your initial major isn’t the right one for you. So the important thing to do is experiment.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn the impact we have on our planet. If so, take a Sustainability class. Many of these don’t require any pre-requisites, and you can easily meet the requirements for this minor with courses the University requires you to take anyways.
Maybe you want to explore your musical side, take an intro to music course as an elective. The point is there are so many different options for you to choose from, especially if you’re undeclared.
If you truly are stumped about what classes to take, make friends with some upper-classmen. They’ll have plenty of suggestions for you because they’ve already gone through the same situation you’re in. They’ll be able to tell you what classes they thought were interesting that helped them make a decision when they couldn’t figure out what they wanted to do.
And if they’re really cool they’ll tell you which professors to take or not take. This can quite literally save your skin if you have a class you want to take that is taught by two different professors. Most of the time you’ll find that one professor is better than the other, both in terms of homework as well as teaching style. It can’t be stressed enough how important choosing the right professor for a class can be. You’ll either love them, or you’ll want to run out of class screaming.
Also, once you get past the 100 level classes, it’s important to learn how to “properly do” homework assignments. This means knowing when and when not to “B.S.” your work. You’ll soon learn that with large reading assignments you can simply skim through while looking for key words and phrases that will help you answer your homework assignments.
This will help you save time when you’re taking multiple 200-400 level courses that assign tons of reading assignments. But when it comes to term papers and large essays, you’re going to actually want to put in the effort. And don’t be afraid of getting extra help if you need it. There are many skilled students who work in the various tutoring centers who can help you with assignments, as well as give you useful advice for current and future classes.
The bottom line is try having as many fun classes as you can, especially if you’re undeclared. Take this as an opportunity to find out what your real passions are, you might find out what you thought you loved you actually hate. Or vice versa. So take that obscure class that looks fun, get out of your comfort zone, take a risk. You might find that it’s your calling.