After you have been admitted to a school, your next task is to enroll in classes. This can be a very difficult decision since most colleges offer more classes than high schools. Since you will have so many courses to select from, utilize the following strategies before making your decisions.
1. Review the Course Catalog
After you have enrolled and before your first semester, the college you will attend will send you a catalog with descriptions of all the available courses. Likewise, it will contain general education requirements all students are required to fulfill and specific course requirements for majors.
Look for classes that are related to your interests. If you locate these courses, you can take some general education related to your interests. This will help you find a major and get some of your general education requirements out of the way. For example, if you are interested in volcanoes, consider taking a course in geology. You will find out if you want to major in a related field and possibly fulfill a science general education requirement.
2. Get Requirements Out of the Way
Before graduating, you will have to complete general education courses. There are a variety of general education courses. Most colleges require students to take math, science, English, and other core courses. During your junior and senior years you will more than likely be immersed in your major, so it is best to take general education courses early in your college career.
3. Find a Balance of Hard and Easy Courses
Many first year students make the mistake of taking very difficult courses without having any college experience. Many students are unaware of how much study time is required outside of class to succeed. Therefore, it is important to have an appropriate balance so you do not burn yourself out or set yourself up for failure.
4. Find a Balance of Subject Areas
Likewise, when selecting subjects to study during a semester, make sure you have an appropriate balance. You do not want to take an English course that requires extensive writing and have a math class that will require a large proportion of your time in order to earn a passing grade. In other words, you do not want to put yourself in a situation where you have more homework than hours available to complete it.
5. Take Advantage of Your Advisor
Don’t make your transition to college any more difficult than it has to be. After you begin the school year, schedule an appointment with an academic advisor to answer any questions you have.
6. Use AP® Credits, Placement Exams, and More
Many colleges will permit students to transfer concurrent enrollment or AP credits earned during high school to fulfill certain general education requirements. For students with proficiency in a foreign language, some colleges will permit them to take a test that will fulfill foreign language requirements.
7. Take a Writing Course
Solid writing skills are essential for success in college and your subsequent career. It will be to your advantage to take a writing class, preferably during your freshman year to prepare for the rest of your college career.
8. Make a Plan for Registration Day
You may not be able to sign up for all the classes you want since demand for many courses exceeds the available number of seats. To make the process easier, have some backup plans. Regardless of the methods your school utilizes to schedule courses, you will save yourself time and be able to focus on other matters before the school year starts if you have a registration backup plan.
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