Registering for Classes 101

A student using her computer


A person with too much make up says 'We have a volunteer'

Let’s face the facts, choosing classes can be a really scary thing to do as a freshman. I have compiled a list of things I think can help you tackle this efficiently!

Be prepared

My personal strategy was, really, all that. I listed down all my required classes in an Excel sheet and mapped out all four years of my degree here in IU. That was extremely helpful in helping me carefully plan my major and two minors.

Take advantage of the wait list system!

A lot of students are unaware of the wait list system and just let go off the classes they are unable to get into. I had personally gotten into three of my wait-listed classes my first semester. Just because you’re not automatically in, it does not mean that it is a definitive no. Remember, a lot of students will add and drop their classes the first week, so you might still have a chance of getting in!

Have backup classes

Referring back to #2, if 80% of your schedule is made up of wait-listed classes, that’s also not something you should be doing. As an international student, I understood the pain of being one of the last to register for classes. You never know which of your required classes are full, especially if you are a freshman. Because of that, it would be wise to have at least three backup classes in your shopping cart. If your gen-ed classes are full, aim for your major. If not, find fun classes you might enjoy!

View your advisement report!

Shout out to my adviser Matt for introducing me to the advisement report feature on the Student Center! It can be found under “My Academics & Grades”, and you’ll see the “Advisement Report” option there. Here, you’ll see the status of your requirements, whether or not they have been fulfilled. It also helps you keep track of your classes, ensuring you are doing what is needed to graduate on time!

Be aware of what your classes actually do!

One big mistake I had made my first semester of freshman year was not being aware of the fact that a lot of my classes had not fulfilled any requirements. If you are trying to graduate on time or even earlier, definitely check to see if the classes you take are fulfilling your major or gen-ed requirements. They ended up being interesting classes that I had enjoyed, but I still would have appreciated knowing that no requirements were fulfilled.

*Something to think about*

I had spent a big chunk of my time finding “easy-A-classes” for my first semester of freshman year. While this is completely okay, I did realize my actual reason for being here in IU. No matter how easy the class is, if you have zero interest in it, it might still be challenging for you to grasp. If the class is difficult but you are invested and engaged in it, the feeling of obtaining proper education you cared about would mean so much more than good grades from empty classes you did not enjoy.

I hope this helped even in the slightest bit, may the odds be ever in your favor!

Amirah Malek
Amirah Malek

Informatics Major with Medical Sciences Cognate and Minors in Business and Computer Science, Class of 2020

Hi! I'm Amirah from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I'm currently a freshman at IU, majoring in Informatics with cognates in Business, Human-Centered Computing and Medical Sciences. I’ve been traveling since I was two months old, so airports are pretty much my second home now. My favorite thing about being an international student is definitely having the opportunity to befriend people from all over the world. (My best friends are from Korea, Burma and USA!) One thing that is not so great about being an international student is the fact that it took me 36 hours to get to Bloomington, trust me, being stuck in a plane for 15 hours straight is not exactly the best thing ever. However, being in IU is definitely worth traveling 9,000 miles away from home. Other than that, I love to fill my free time by writing songs and playing my guitar, so go creativity!

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