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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Carleton chapter.

Some of us look forward to course selection, others dread it, and most of us fall somewhere in between. Course selection is like shopping for things that will eventually bring you obscene amounts of stress. It’s fun until two courses you want to take are at the same time and another course is full and another won’t let you in for some reason. I’ve had quite the experience with course selection so let me offer some advice. 

Disclaimer: I can’t speak for all disciplines when I provide these tips, but as someone who has been at Carleton University since 2018, this is what I have found helpful!

1. RateMyProf.com is your best friend

Nothing ruins a class like a terrible professor. You could be super interested in the topic of the course, but if the professor has a review below three on Rate My Prof, abandon it. A professor who gets a majority of bad ratings from students is simply not a good professor. Many students end up regretting taking a course with a professor who does not care about their students so don’t make this mistake if you can avoid it!

2. Take courses taught by professors you have liked in the past 

Need an elective or are having difficulty choosing a class to fill a certain requirement? See what your favourite professor is up to! In the same vein as Tip #1, taking a class with a professor that you admire and respect will make for a fun class, even if you weren’t too interested in the topic to begin with. I often take the opportunity to ask my professors at the end of the semester what courses they are teaching next term so that I already have an idea of what courses to take. 

3. Learn to read your audit 

The audit is a scary thing to read for the first time, and the second time, and the third and fourth, and so on, but it is an important tool to ensure that you are following your academic path. On your own, you can read the legend to decipher the symbols and abbreviations, browse through your course requirements, and track your progress. However, there is only so much you can teach yourself regarding your audit so make sure to set up a meeting with a faculty advisor who can show you the ropes! 

4. Ask for help!

Whether it’s reaching out to a friend, a classmate, your discipline’s Discord server (or other group chat), or a faculty advisor — you will not regret asking for help even if it’s just for an extra pair of eyes to make sure you aren’t royally screwing up your degree or for course recommendations. This person can also offer advice more tailored to your life and your area of study. 

Now go forth and select courses! 

hey i'm Vanessa and if i could use my memory for school instead of storing useless facts about pop culture i'd be a genius.