Independence – one of the best things about college life can also be one of the most challenging.
Unlike high school, college students have much more autonomy in selecting the classes you take. The goal of a college education is to develop well-rounded students who become global citizens. General education requirements usually include art, music, humanities, foreign language, and history. Colleges can offer hundreds of courses in a semester which in turn can result in frustration or confusion for many students during registration. Communications majors may be required to take biology and math majors may be required to take sociology. Meeting with your advisor and understanding the general education and core requirements for your major and can help eliminate overwhelm but don’t stop there.
Here are 5 things to consider before selecting your college courses:
1. Brain Function – Knowing not only your learning style but what time of day you are most alert and productive can play a key role in earning good grades.
2. Professor – Who is teaching a course is as important as the subject of the course. It’s a good idea to research your professors not only to learn about their education and qualifications but also to find out their teaching style and how former students performed in their classes.
3. Responsibilities – I recommend that students attend class during their peak performance periods but the reality is that many students are balancing jobs, families, and social activities with class time and study time. Select a schedule that allows for adequate self-care and meeting non-academic and academic obligations.
4. Career Opportunities –Many adults change careers 2-3 times during their working years thus an interdisciplinary approach to education can make you more employable. Don’t overlook courses like statistics, software applications, independent research or practicum that offer opportunities to apply classroom knowledge while developing professional skills or making professional connections.
5. YOU – On your journey to graduation, surprisingly the easiest item to overlook when creating a college schedule is you. Don’t forget to move beyond requirements and consider your likes and interests. College is a time to satisfy your intellectual curiosity, improve your problem-solving skills, and get to know yourself better. Make an effort to choose courses that challenge and develop you academically, socially, personally, and professionally.
Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.
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