College and Workload
Here we are at the last post of Before You Shout for Help. To close it all off, I want to talk about the workload, since quite a few people seem to be worried about it.
I’ve been happy with my class choices so far. For the first semester, all students must have an FYI: First Year Intensive. These are 15-student classes, only for incoming first years. Each fulfills a perspective, and your professor from that class is your adviser until you declare a major (which you can do by the end of your sophomore year). I chose Queer Horror, which is still my favorite class so far. This class is perhaps a little more “intense” than the others, simply because they are meant to help you get on the level of college courses.
I’d suggest taking at least one or two intro classes, apart from the FYI, especially if you have no idea what you’re going to be majoring in. If you have some idea, you’ll still want to take the intro class, and if you’re completely sure what you’re majoring in, take a look at the major requirements; you might want to get started on some of those courses. The best way to try and see what you want to major in, and to be sure about it, is to take intro classes from different departments. Sometimes, trying to get the perspectives done is the best way to achieve that. By doing that, you’re not only making it easier on yourself to deal with the PLS requirements later on, but you’re also getting a taste of courses that you thought you may not enjoy.
One thing to be careful when looking at classes is whether they have a discussion or lab section. Most classes don’t have either, but a lot of the science classes have lab sessions, and some of the social science classes seem to have discussion sessions. These are weekly sessions that vary in length. You will want to have no more than 2 classes with either of them, since they do provide additional time commitment. Apart from that, almost every class has weekly/bi-weekly assignments. Depending on the class, that may be a series of questions, a short essay, readings, or a combination of them. As long as you plan out your week carefully, though, there’s no reason you should be jargogled (apart from when it’s midterms and finals time!).
So, although this post is the end of my “advice series”, I’m always available to answer questions! Now I must go deal with all the extracurricular activities I signed up to do…