Hello! I’m going to continue writing about how to prepare for college, so here is the next post in that series! My first post about what to expect at freshman orientation can be found here. This post will focus on something that happens at orientation – scheduling classes.
As a freshman, you likely have little to no experience with scheduling college classes – and as a freshman, you are going to get the worst end of the deal. All other students at the college have already chosen and signed up for their courses – so most courses in your major and minor will not have any open seats.
During orientation, you will probably be sent as a large group to wait in a room while overworked counselors try to get everyone through quickly and without too many fights. Your parents won’t be there, which means you have freedom to sign up for whatever you want (unless they’re paying the bill!), but it also means you need to know what’s going on. In college, your parents can’t do everything for you – you have to know what’s going on and be prepared to handle it.
Look into the courses your university offers before arriving at orientation. There’s no point in looking for professors, because the counselor will probably not allow you to choose. You’ll go by when classes are available – not what professors you want. After your first semester, you will want to become best friends with ratemyprofessors.com, which will help you avoid hating your life.
Like I mentioned, do not expect to get into classes in your major/minor. Those classes are often already filled up by upperclassmen who scheduled months ago. If you have one of the first orientation dates, you may get lucky, but if you have an orientation date later on like I did, it’s very unlikely. Expect to take mostly general credits, like basic math, history, and english. You can try to schedule your classes later on in the day, but it’s likely you’ll get at least one 8am (future post to come on how to survive these)!
You probably won’t love your schedule the first semester, but it will help you know and understand what works best for you. Do you enjoy having breaks between classes, or do you like to get them all done quickly? Do you prefer early morning classes, or afternoon classes? Do you want to pack all your classes in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or do you want to spread them out? These are all things you should consider before making your schedule. Be honest with yourself. If you hate waking up in the morning, don’t schedule a lot of 8ams. If you tend to procrastinate, it probably isn’t good to have all your classes on the same days.
After your first semester, you’ll be scheduling your classes all on your own (don’t worry, I’ll write another post about it!), and you won’t have a counselor by your side! Watch what they’re doing, because you’re going to need to know how to do it soon! Before you know it, you’ll be halfway through your first semester and you’ll be scheduling spring classes! If this helped you feel a bit more prepared for scheduling classes at orientation, click share! Send it to your friends, they’re probably asking the same questions you are.