Thursday, 22 November 2012

How to Choose Classes

My name is Kay Hwa. I go by Caroline in the States and to some folks back home too. I’m currently a junior at NYU studying Economics and Comparative Literature and would like to share some tips on finding classes to take.

There are many things to consider when taking up new classes for the semester. Here are a few I constantly have to ask myself:

1) What is the class about? Is the subject matter interesting to me/is it intellectually stimulating?
2) Is the professor good at teaching? 
3) How hard is the class? Is the workload heavy? Might this negatively affect my GPA?
4) Will I learn anything practical/technical?
5) Does this fit into my schedule?

Since you get so much freedom to pick and choose your classes AND professors, one needs to be extra careful because a good or bad professor might make a huge difference in your perception of the subject matter. At the same time you might learn a lot from the class but maybe his past students have mentioned that it is a hard class to get an A in. On the contrary, you might be looking for something to boost your GPA this semester so you might look into something fun and has a relatively lighter workload. Also, some classes like “Intro to Programming” will be more practical to put on your resume than a class like “Renaissance Art” for example. However, you might be very interested in Art History in general, so you may opt to take a class some time down the road if not right now (I did). Lastly, since you are making your own schedule, YOU need to decide what kind of a schedule fits your lifestyle the best. For example, maybe you are not a morning person and hate 9am classes, so opt for afternoon classes instead then! Or perhaps you want to pursue on-campus jobs/internships while studying, so you want to keep 1 or 2 of your days free for that. 

Making all these decisions can be very time-consuming and frustrating at times, however I personally enjoy doing the research because frankly it's fun to have total control over how you want the next few months of your life to be like!