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How to Strategically Choose College Classes Your Freshman Year

As a college freshman you finally have the freedom to choose any classes you want, but how do you decide which to pick when there are 500 to choose from?

Start by making a list of interesting classes and using the resources available to you. Schedule an appointment with an academic advisor and tell them about the classes you’re interested in. Ask questions about those classes and try to learn as much as you can about them. If your advisor doesn’t have an answer to one of your questions, you can always email the professor teaching the course!

If you haven’t declared a major, an academic advisor will likely remind you to include some classes that satisfy the core requirements for your university. Core requirements must be completed by all students in order to graduate, and can range from math and lab sciences to history and philosophy. Fulfilling core requirements early on can give you flexibility in your class choices later on, and ideally you’ll be able to find classes that are interesting and satisfy those requirements!

If you have declared a major, you’ll want to start fulfilling the requirements in that area. Depending on your university, your department may have their own academic advisor that you can consult. Taking courses in your major is not only a good way to get ahead, but also the best way to determine if you’d like to study this field for the next four years or if you want to explore other majors.

With the core and major requirements in mind, you should also strive for balance in your class schedule. Enrolling in a variety of classes can help you avoid situations like needing to write five term papers in the same week. Also, take introductory classes in fields that interest you and explore majors that may be unfamiliar to you. After all, you should enjoy your college experience to the fullest. If you’ve always wanted to take a Philosophy class, go for it! If you hear about a cool Earth Science class on dinosaurs, give it a shot! College is the perfect time to discover new interests, and you never know what might interest you until you give it a chance.