A Streamlined Search: Advice for Finding Awesome Classes

I've recently been thinking that I should try to knock some general education requirements out of the way this summer. The only problem is that I had no idea where to begin my search for these courses. I’m still in my first year of college and I've struggled through choosing my classes for the first two semesters. There are so many requirements to fulfill, and that’s before even looking at major-related classes or the classes just seem interesting to me! 

Luckily, I eventually found several professors that I could turn to for advice — advice that I didn’t necessarily have in previous semesters. These professors have earned my respect and I greatly value their opinions in class, so I figured that asking if they had any course suggestions might be worth a shot.

It turns out that asking my current and previous professors was absolutely the right call. I asked a total of four professors (two within my major and two outside of my major but whose classes I loved,) as well as my academic advisor for recommendations. This truly streamlined my search for what I should take, and since these professors were familiar with me, their suggestions were much more personalized toward me and my major. Asking professors and advisors for advice and recommendations when it comes to classes is especially helpful because most have seen countless students progress through college, and they know which classes are worthwhile and which ones aren’t. 

This was especially helpful when I asked a professor who is not an instructor within my major. They had great suggestions for similar courses to their own (that I’m currently taking) within their department, and the first course they suggested to me is now on my list to take for summer because it conveniently knocks out two credits instead of one! And as a bonus, it seems incredibly interesting! I’m not sure that I would have found it without my professor’s help, and beyond that, I’m not sure I would have given it a second glance on a course list if it weren't for their recommendation. 

The moral of this story is pretty simple: if you’re struggling to figure out which class (or classes) to take over the summer or during the semester, asking professors whose thoughts and opinions you value is an efficient way to speed up the process. They “know what’s good,” so to speak, and they’re often familiar with what a student in your major should be taking. And honestly, all of this amazing advice came from the same copy-and-paste email that I sent to each of my professors. The outcome of this class-finding strategy is often very rewarding for the time you put in, and I would recommend this to anyone currently floundering (like I was) and trying to figure out what to do next. 

Photo of people at work putting their hands on top of each other Photo by fauxels from Pexels