How to Pick the Best College Classes for Your Schedule

college laptop

One of the rare non-Apple laptops seen in an otherwise cool park full of cool people

It’s hard to believe, but the fall semester is now past the halfway point for most of us. This means that it’s time to plan for the spring semester. There are a lot of factors to consider when registering for classes—you want the new semester to run smoothly, you want to like your classes, and you want to stay on track with your academic plan. It can definitely be stressful picking classes to make that work, so take a look at these tips that can help make it easier to pick the best classes for your schedule.

Don’t ignore gen ed and major requirements
Everyone’s eager to take those “fun” classes that peak your interest but don’t necessarily have anything to do with requirements you have to fulfill. Hopefully, you have time to take some of these electives before you graduate, but don’t ignore the classes you know you need to take eventually. If your school has general education requirements, it’s nice to get them out of the way sooner rather than later. Also, depending on how many different classes your major requires, you should make sure to pick at least a couple classes per semester that will count towards that major.

Talk around
The best way to find out if a class is worth taking is by talking to someone who’s already taken it. It’s definitely nice knowing more about a class than just what’s written in its course description. Ask questions about what they learned in the class, how the workload was, and what the teaching style of the professor was like. For more info on potential professors you might be taking classes with, you can search for them Just don’t base your decisions entirely on what other students have said. Everyone learns differently, and a class or professor that one person disliked, you could end up loving!

Be realistic
When picking your classes, it’s important to be realistic. Just because you really want to take a certain class, doesn’t mean that it’s a good fit. You know yourself; if you’re a late sleeper who’s always cursing the alarm clock, you probably shouldn’t sign up for an 8am.  If you sometimes have a short attention span, think twice before scheduling yourself for six hours of class straight. It’s also really important that you don’t take on a course load that you won’t be able to commit to. Try to pick classes that will leave you with a balanced schedule—one where you won’t be too overwhelmed, but you won’t be bored either.

Look ahead
Be conscious of how many semesters you have left in college, and how many classes you have room to take before you graduate. Even if you’re a freshman and graduation seems ions away, it’s helpful to plan ahead. Figure out what classes are priorities to you, so that you can be sure to fit them all in somewhere during your time at school. Find out what classes have prerequisite requirements, so that you don’t end up getting shut out unexpectedly.

Meet with an advisor
If you’re still unsure about what classes to pick, talk with an advisor. Even if you are sure, it could still be a good idea! It’s nice to hear confirmation from someone that you’re on track. If you have an assigned school advisor, take advantage of the help they have to offer you. You could also track down a favorite professor or faculty member in your major’s department, and ask their advice. Everyone has questions about picking classes sometimes, so you are not alone!