Choosing college courses can be a stressful process. Trying to meet requirements and balance your personal interests can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
Although your academic advisors will pressure you into the traditional college expectations, it might be more beneficial to avoid the traditional plan of action for something that’s a little more out-of-the-box. Avoid immediately taking all of your gen-eds and dabble in different disciplines to find what you really like and where you should focus more of your time and energy or challenge your beliefs with various courses to develop a better understanding of different perspectives.
Here are 5 tips to consider when choosing your courses next semester.
- Mix it up
High school was a continuous cycle of similar boring classes that didn’t change much year after year. In college, the opportunities to explore, learn and grow are endless with so many classes to choose from. It’s important that you don’t stick to that continuous cycle of high school and rather explore different disciplines. Doing so will empower you with knowledge, allow you to explore new passions and interests and challenge you along the way. Perhaps you’ll discover that the field of study you always thought you’d pursue isn’t the best fit for you after all.
- Challenge your beliefs
One of the most amazing things about college is that it serves as a place where you are encouraged to leave your comfort zone and explore. Taking courses that challenge your beliefs and introduce you to new cultures or world views can be insightful and teach you new things. Take classes that counter your own beliefs, you’ll develop a better understanding of the world and people around you.
- Postpone gen-eds
Advisors begin pressuring from the first day of orientation about completing your degree in four years. They insist on completing all your gen-eds first and taking a load of credit hours to stay on the 4-year track to graduation. However, doing so gives you no time to explore other options. If you’re not sure about a career path, it’s not a bad idea to postpone completing some of your gen-eds to dabble in various disciplines until you find something you really like and know what kind of subjects you’d like to focus on.
- Take writing-intensive courses
Although grueling writing-intensive courses aren’t the most exciting courses to take in college and are rather time consuming, they will prepare you for any career. Employers seek candidates with strong writing skills. Taking writing-intensive courses throughout your college career will help make you a stronger writer and give you skills that employers seek when hiring.
- Read faculty evaluations
Most students are asked to complete faculty evaluations at the end of each semester and are sometimes made public. If they are, take advantage of them. Students typically agree with each other on which classes are best, difficult and which professors made the class worthwhile. You can also use websites such as RateMyProfessors.com where students from your college will submit similar evaluations.
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