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Strategies for Add/Drop Week and Picking Classes

October 23, 2017

Out of all the new changes you will experience as a freshman in college, picking out your first semester classes will be one of them. Creating your schedule will surprisingly feel very similar to what it felt like signing up for your classes as a freshman in high school. What won’t feel quite the same is the incredible flexibility you will have in choosing the time slots you would like for your classes.

Depending on whether you are an early bird or night owl, picking out the times of your classes have a huge impact on how the rest of your day will go. For example, if you sign up for a 7:25 A.M. class, you will have the rest of your morning to study, run errands, or even have first pick at the gym. Most people prefer to have their first class at 10 or even noon, but for some that could lead to an unproductive morning.

Other than time slots, there really won’t be much more flexibility as a freshman. You will be able to sign up for certain humanities or electives that interest you, but the majority of freshman all have to complete certain general education and required courses. Of course, no one will force you to take any classes in your first or even second semester, but because these classes must be completed before graduation, most freshman try and get those out of the way right away. "Try" is a key word, because most required classes fill up very quickly, especially at popular time slots.

That is why Add/Drop week is an essential time for students; it is important to be on top of your game during this week if you have your eyes on a certain course that was filled up previously. Besides adding classes that were already filled up, Add/Drop week is the prime time to back out of classes that do not interest you, are irrelevant to your major, or are causing problems with your schedule. One of the most important things that you will probably hear many times: do not drop a class until you have added a new class first!

This is super important because classes can get filled within seconds, all depending on their demand, so if you drop out of classes before you can sign up for new classes to replace those credits, you may be left worse than when you started. You should even add more than one class if you are unsure about which you would prefer. It is a safer move to overfill your schedule than to be left with almost no classes. A freshman is recommended to take from 12-14 credits, and if you are eligible for Bright Futures, you must be enrolled as a full-time student and be taking at least 13 credits. That is why it is important to make sure you do not end up having to fill your schedule with irrelevant credits.