Getting Down to Business: How to Survive Your First Year of Kelley Classes

Indiana University campus in the summer

Orientation. It can be a lot of things—a chance to meet new people, to get familiar with your home for the next four years, and maybe to try some of Bloomington’s best restaurants while you’re at it.

But let’s be frank here. Most of you are here enduring the oh-so-fun Indiana summer heat so you could figure out your fall schedule and try your best to avoid those infamous 8 AM classes. And while your meeting with your advisors should definitely help you out with that, we PLs have assembled a few tips and warnings from past freshmen that you might want to consider before pressing that “register” button for Kelley classes:


The quintessential freshman business class. It’s known for being the “weed-out” class, as your grade is 45% midterm, 45% final, and 10% attendance (thought you could skip class in college? Not this one, bud). Nothing like a lot of little pressure to start off your freshman year, right?

Our advice:

It won’t be fun to jump into on the first day, but you need to pass this to take your other required accounting classes, so definitely take it first semester. However, it’s an 8-week course, so if you can, try taking it the 2nd 8 weeks when you’ve gotten adjusted to college life a little better.


Another “weed-out” class. If you haven’t heard people talk about how K201 was the most useful class ever, don’t worry. You will. And it’s true, which makes it all the more important that you find a way to get the hang of those pesky Excel functions and Access queries ASAP.

Our advice:

Note that I mentioned K204? That’s the Honors version of the class, and if you are able to do so, take that one. The honors class does not have a “lecture” portion (which means you have class twice rather than thrice a week), and—the best part—it doesn’t have a test asking you to memorize how computers work or some other information like that. However, things tend to move a little faster in the honors version, so if you and technology don’t get along, maybe consider the regular version.


Like working in groups? I sure hope you do. The Business Presentations class is not only about giving your own speeches/presentations, but working with 4-5 other team members on your first ever case competition. It’s a very work-intensive class both individually and as a group, so prepare for a lot of meetings in your future.

Our advice:

If you’re taking A100 and K201 first semester, take this one second semester. Also, though you don’t get to choose your groups (sad, I know), being in the same class with friends is probably a good idea, as you can most likely work things out so that you have at least one friend on your team.

In the interest of getting you to go enjoy Bloomington during orientation, we’ll end the post here. Yes, having a nice schedule and getting the best classes are nice, but a couple years from now, it’s the people and fun—not the accounting principles or Excel graphs—that you’ll remember when looking back on your freshman year of college. Oh, and maybe Mother Bear’s pizza too.

-Henry Zhu

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