It is that time of year again where new course calendars come out and students start to plan and register for courses for the following term. This can be quite a process and, if you are anything like me, there are 6 stages you will go through.
The new course calendar just came out and you are really excited to take a look to see what fun and interesting class will be available to you for the next semester. Will there be some new classes offered? Are there going to be some really interesting topics assigned to this semester’s topic classes? What fun electives am I able to take this semester (If you actually have room for electives)? These are just some of the questions running through your mind as you take your first glance. You text all your friends and tell them to go take a look as well. You start putting all of those interesting classes into your course planner.
This is when you remember something called a Degree Audit. This is the thing that tells you what classes you must take and the thing that dictates when you graduate. You look at your required classes and see what classes you initially chose will fulfil those requirements. You start looking into what professors are teaching the classes and look for the classes that your favourite professors teach. You ask around to gain information and do some research on the best classes to take. Now you have the information needed to make an informed decision.
Now that you have decided on 5-10 classes that sound interesting, fulfil requirements, and are supposedly good classes, it is time to start creating your schedule. All the classes need to be at different times. You cannot have two exams at the same time. You need to make a schedule that works for you. You need to narrow down your list of classes.
This is a two-step process. You consult with both your academic advisor and your friends. Consulting with your academic advisor will help you make sure you are taking the courses you need and keep you on track for graduation. Consulting with your friends usually consists of finding classes you have together and trying to find one or more classes the whole group can take.
This part is inevitable- especially if you are a double major. All the good classes seem to be at the same time. Also, all the classes you need seem to be at the same time as well. The classes your friends want to take don’t seem to fit into your schedule because you have to worry about the other major as well. The frustration builds and nothing seems to be going right. Suddenly, you don’t know what classes to take anymore.
Finally, settlement comes. You just give up and take whatever courses you can. You start with your required classes because those are the most important. Then you fill in the space in your schedule with whatever classes will fit the time slot. You may not be able to take that class with your friends or that really interesting class being offered, but at least you are done and you have survived another course selection and registration.