Picking classes seems like a simple task: just choose something you’d like to study and try to find what your friends are joining, right? I’ll admit, I did the same but there are other factors to consider!
- Choosing the right professor: Research what other people have rated this professor in the past. How is their teaching style? What scores did students consistently earn in the class? Find out what previous students specifically liked. Find a website in which statistics about the teacher are listed. While you might like to take a chance with a new professor, it’s always nice to have the option of knowing what to expect from a veteran one. (As a sidenote, if you want to do research or just develop a rapport with your professors, try to find one that matches what you want to learn more about.)
- Time: College is a time when you can pick classes that better suit what you want, right? Technically, yes but there are things to take into account other than how late you can sleep in, such as:
- For those who are already comfortable with morning classes, you’ll find yourself able to find early classes and enjoy the rest of the day with studying and socializing. For those who prefer some extra sleep, the option to take classes around noon or after is available. However, given that you need to balance studying, sleeping, and socializing with your classes, you might find yourself crunched on time. Typically, social events happen during the evening, which is the time that you normally would spend doing homework and understanding lectures.
- Another thing to realize is that upperclassmen usually have earlier registration times and thus can pick classes before underclassmen can. While this helps to ensure their spots in classes needed to graduate, this means for you lower classmen that you might not be able to get the class that you ideally wanted. You’ll see openings in a class dwindle, especially if it’s with a good professor or just a good time slot.
- Classroom size: Depending on your major and what type of class you are signing up for, you could find yourself in a smaller class with more room for discussions, or a large seminar class in an auditorium with little interaction with your professor (mostly TA’s). Sometimes you can’t choose this as the class size is determined already but later on, when you have the choice of choosing between classes, you should consider your learning style. Do you prefer intimate discussions and bouncing ideas back and forth? Or are you more of a passive learner and like the option of just sitting back and taking the lecture in?
You still have time before registration so think about what you want the most and good luck!