Choosing classes as a freshman is nothing if not a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s exciting and liberating to craft your entire schedule from scratch (gone are the days of 10th grade World History and PE), but that amount of freedom can also be stressful. Some freshmen come in with the next four years of semesters planned out to the hour, some come in overwhelmed by choice and not 100% sure what the difference is between distribution and foundation requirements. Whether you’re ready to maximize your SHU’s (semester hour units) for the major-minor combo of the century or joining me on the other end of the spectrum, there’s a lot to learn through your first course registration. However, there’s also an extensive team of people ready to back you up throughout the entire process.
You start with a meeting with your pre-major advisor, and there are a few ways to acquire one. Every freshman receives an advisor, but you can either take your advisor’s class, take an ex-college class with a faculty member assigned to it that becomes your advisor, or not take any advisory courses and be placed with a random advisor. No matter which direction you go, you’ll have a pre-major advisor become the first person in your corner for course registration. Your advisor can suggest courses, desperately try to steer you away from taking 18 credits (the absolute maximum allowed by the school) your very first semester, and offer general advice for your first classes and year. The best piece of advice my advisor gave me? Everything counts for something. No matter what classes you end up taking, they’ll be fulfilling some kind of requirement, whether that’s distributional or foundational, and you’ll be one step closer to that degree.
Also: just explore! There are so many classes offered at college on topics not even touched in high school. Maybe you’ll love anthropology, or peace and justice studies, or linguistics. You’ll never know if you don’t try, and freshman year is the perfect time to just take what sounds interesting. You don’t have to declare a major until sophomore year, you can drop a class if it ends up being totally not your thing, and everything. counts. for. something!