How to Become a Jedi Master of Choosing Classes

Hi everyone!

As the semester is coming to an end and everyone is preparing for the spring semester, the task of choosing classes is upon us again.

As an incoming freshman at orientation, I was completely thrown in to choosing classes and times and locations without any helpful guidance. I didn't know which buildings were where, or how much time I would need to have between classes to walk to them, or which professors are good or bad, etc. Now that I'm more used to the way things work, I'm very excited to schedule spring classes -- in a CONVENIENT way.

I would highly recommend these tips for incoming freshmen who are going to be scheduling classes. I know that I would have loved to know these few things before I set up my schedule!

1. Make a list of classes that you want to take.

On IU's University Division website, there is a printable "academic planning worksheet" that is recommended to be used. I used it, and it was really helpful. It helps you list out what classes you're interested in taking, and it divides them up into which credits each class is good for. Having a list when you meet with an adviser is really important because it makes the process go smoother and it gives you somewhat of an idea of what your first semester could be like. You also don't want to go in without a list because the adviser you meet with has no clue who you are or what you like. All they'll know is what your major is, if you've declared one.

2.  Have a campus map with you when you pick classes/class times/class locations.

As an incoming freshman, you're probably not going to be that familiar with the campus. I know I wasn't. It will be extremely helpful if you have a map with you so you can see where each building is and the distances between them. This will help with deciding if you have enough time between classes, if you can afford to have a break between classes, if you want to have back to back classes, etc. This is the number one thing that I wish I would have had with me.

3. Use ratemyprofessor.com.

The website ratemyprofessor.com has student reviews of almost every professor at IU. All you have to do is search their name, and you can see their rating and written reviews for them. This is nice because you can get a feel for what kind of professor they are and if you'll enjoy them. After all, you will be spending 16 weeks with them.

4. Write down the class and class time of each class you add to your schedule.

This will help you keep track of not overlapping times and making sure that you have enough time between classes. Having a physical copy to look at will help you stay organized and focus, and it will prevent you from getting confused and flustered. I was very confused and flustered. It was not fun.

5. Think long and hard before you commit to having 8 AM classes.

Now I know that you're in high school and you think that you can rise to the challenge of an 8 AM. You wake up around 6 AM now, so you can definitely be up for an 8 AM, right? Wrong. I'm here to tell you that you will in all likelihood regret it. The thing is that the class itself STARTS at 8 AM. You need to be up before that, and you have to figure in walking time. If you end up living in Northwest like I do, most of your classes will be on the complete other side of campus, which is a twenty minute walk. I'm not trying to discourage you from taking an 8 AM, I'm just telling you that you better be reeeeeeally sure about it. Or else you will regret it.

Those are all the tips that I wish I would have known before scheduling my classes. You really do get thrown into the process, but if you prepare for it, you'll be okay. (:

So now I'm going to digress a little and talk about what I did last weekend --

My First Color Run!

My roommate and I signed up and ran (but mostly walked) together. It was so much fun! If you don't know what a Color Run is, it's usually a 5k (3.1 miles) race, and there are stations throughout the route where volunteers throw food colored corn starch powder at you! You're supposed to wear white so it'll show up best.

IU's Color Run has the goal of spreading violence awareness. In 2000, an IU student named Jill Behrman went on a bike ride and never came back. She was discovered to have been murdered three years later. The Color the Campus Run was created to spread awareness and keep Jill's memory alive.

I had a lot of fun, and it's just one example of the many ways you can get involved on campus!

Because I love pictures, here are some pictures of my Color Run experience.

Thank you for reading! As always, feel free to leave a comment if you have any more questions, or follow me on Twitter and Instagram! (:

For more advice on choosing classes:

About The Author
Alyssa ModosEnglish Major, Future Book Editor, Class of 2018, Fort Wayne, IN

I'm an English major and Marketing minor with the dream of working for a Big Five publisher in the Big Apple.

I'm obsessed with my cat, I'm newly addicted to pineapple, and I like to go running for fun. When I'm not at the gym, you can find me buried under blankets in bed watching The Walking Dead. Every Friday is Pizza Friday at my place; it's my own little "slice" (heh heh) of IU Traditions and Spirit.

Follow me around online and through social media to get to know IU and how amazing it is. You'll get to know me, too -- I'm a pretty cool person, just throwing that out there. (:

Be sure to check me out on Spoon University (where I write about delicious, life-changing food) and The Odyssey (where I write about a little bit of everything).