A professor can make or break a course. No matter how excited you are about a certain course- maybe because of the reading list or overall subject- a good professor will either make the course a dream come true or a total drag. I am very lucky because in my university I have the opportunity to “shop” courses in order to know with certainty if that course is worth taking. If this is available at your school, then please take advantage of it! If a professor puts you to sleep, or has a teaching style that doesn’t agree with you, then please don’t think it’ll get better. It won’t. Unless a class is a requirement, then avoid professors who don’t agree with you.
YOU WILL NOT MAGICALLY TURN INTO A MORNING PERSON, SO PLEASE DON’T TAKE EARLY MORNING CLASSES. So many students fall into the trap of choosing early morning courses when they know very well that they are never up before noon. You will not suddenly become a morning person in college, so please don’t force yourself into a rock and a hard place. I know many peers who have learned this lesson the hard way (AKA sleeping through their alarms and missing class many, many times). So please, just don’t do that to yourself.
Please take classes you find genuinely interesting and exciting. Don’t limit yourself to courses for your imagined major. Your area of study may change many, many times during your college career. This means that taking a class just because it’s in your intended major is most likely not efficient. Expand your areas of knowledge and interest. So take a drama class or a geology class- you never know if you might find a passion that may change your course for the better.
And finally… Diversify your classes. What I mean by this is simple: if you take all humanities, then expect to write essays for all your classes and vice versa with STEM. A nice mixture of many areas of study will ensure that you don’t spend all of final’s week writing 7 essays (trust me, it happened to me). Choose classes that will ensure that you are taking exams, writing essays, doing problem sets, etc. A mixture of workload will keep you entertained, stress free, and nicely challenged.
-- Katherine Jimenez