My registration date is approaching quickly, and there are many things I’ve been needing to consider. My first bit of advice: meet with your advisor! They aren’t just there to approve your course load- they can help you pick which classes and programs of study are right for you. My advisor has been helping me figure out what I’m interested in and how that can apply to courses, my major, and my career. Advisors are very good at their job, and they are there for your benefit. There’s no shame or harm in meeting with them more than you have to. Additionally, there’s no shame in second-guessing or changing a major. Sometimes, taking a step back to evaluate what you want to do can make a world of difference when choosing courses.
The next important part of building your schedule is being able to keep track of gen eds and major requirements. Your first year might be filled with a lot of gen ed classes that you might not want to take, but there’s always some room for some fun and interesting classes. For example, taking a film class might not apply to a STEM major, but it can be a great way to expand your mind and further a casual interest.
However, you do have to start thinking about which classes are priorities. Maybe a class does sound really fun, but if it’s not part of your major, or you already have the gen ed credit, try to find something that will get you the most credits. It’s also important to ensure you can meet the prerequisites for courses you want to do later on. Later years in your college experience will be dedicated to major courses or ones that better fit your interests. (However, you can still fit that one fun class! Just don’t overload your earlier schedules.)
One last thing: consider winter or summer semester classes. If you find you’re pushing semester hour limits, you could always earn credits in other semesters. These courses do still cost money, though, so it’s not a necessity- just something to think about.
For honors students: by your fourth semester, you are required to complete 12 semester hours of honors coursework. If a course you’re considering for your second semester has an honors discussion section, take it! It helps you to reach these requirements and meet like-minded people, challenging you to think harder about these topics. Also, there are 12 experiential learning credits needed by the end of your eighth semester. Some courses you take early on can apply towards this, and if you can land an internship or long-term volunteering job, you can count this towards experiential learning. But, coursework is definitely the priority, so try to look for honors sections of the classes you want to take.