What are Good Classes to Take Your Freshman Year of College?
Strategically planning your course load for your first year of college can help you establish a strong foundation for the rest of your college career. Instead of randomly choosing classes, you may want to get some of the general college requirements taken care of so you can focus on specialized courses when you declare your degree. College students can also look to certain electives that may be required for your degree as college class options your freshman year as well, as many college courses can get started during your first semester plan for your degree. High school seniors may have opportunities to get a head start on their college course planning and credits if they apply to classes early as incoming freshmen and take higher level classes to plan for college intro classes. Some schools offer math classes, English classes and history classes to allow high school students to take college classes in their senior year before starting college, depending on their learning system.
If you have taken a foreign language in high school, signing up for a college foreign language course will keep that educational ball rolling. It will be easier to continue with this line of study when the language is still fresh in your mind. Attending foreign language classes later in your college career may require you to take a refresher course to relearn the information that you forgot over time. Foreign language is often a requirement to receive your degree, so you might as well get it out of the way.
Math and Science
Depending on what degree you’ve chosen or even the direction you think you may be headed, you will most likely need math and science courses. It’s advisable to take lower-level math and science courses during your freshman year, as these are often prerequisites for more advanced courses. For example, you may need to take pre-calculus before heading to calculus. You may want to schedule astronomy, biology or chemistry in the first year, too. If you find math and science to be some of the more difficult lines of study, plan on taking these courses while you sign up for easier courses the same quarter or semester to even out the workload. Computer science is another option for your science credits, depending on your interests and degree needs when you are enrolling.
Most colleges require an English class as part of their graduation requirements. During your first year, you may want to cross this course off your list. Although each college offers different courses, generally you can find English composition, literature or interdisciplinary writing courses available to freshmen.
Humanities courses are also a requirement for graduation. The good news is that you’ll find a wide variety of humanities courses to choose from, so you can pick and choose ones that interest you. These courses include psychology, sociology, geography, economics, political science, international studies and women’s studies. Humanities can also be considered electives depending on your degree choice and education requirements for your goals.
When you’re looking at options for your freshman-year courses, the number of credits you sign up for needs to be part of the equation. You don’t want to sign up for too many credits, especially your first couple of quarters or semesters in your first time planning classes for your college general education. Your work and grades will surely suffer if you feel strained to keep up. Start with two or three classes and see how it feels. Your GPA is one very important grade calculation to keep track of when taking your required courses on campus, as it can dictate your college credits needed for your Bachelor's degree if not properly taken care of during your experience in college life. GPA is dependent on your grades and credit hours for each of your fundamental courses. With college also comes internships and opportunities, so plan your course load accordingly.
It’s in your best interest to get to know your academic advisor well and meet with them often. They can help you plan your course load efficiently and give you helpful tips to assist you in becoming more successful in your college career. An advisor can also guide you through the admissions process and keep an eye on your progress so you don’t miss valuable classes or information. Advisors can also help you plan your coursework and class schedule for future semesters, as well as needed changes in current semesters if something happens.
As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.