Before you commit yourself 100% to doing the very best you can in that World History course or that AP Science class, it’s a good idea to ask yourself, “are you really right for each other?” Considering a few things up front might help you make some smart choices before you set foot in the classroom and can make your semester go a whole lot smoother.

  • Choosing the Best Class — In high school as well as college, it’s important to take classes that will hold your interest. The two most important things are the books and the professor. Ask a few people you know who may have taken the class or at least have some experience with that teacher in a different course.
  • For non-electives with more than one section, try to go to different sections of the same class with different instructors, especially if the instructor for the one you’re signed up for strikes you the wrong way the first day. There are vast differences in teaching styles; find an instructor that suits your style.
  • For electives, there’s more work involved, but the payoff can be great.
    • First, visit the bookstore and look over the textbooks for all the qualifying classes. What will hold your interest for an entire semester? Read a paragraph or two, or a couple pages, in the textbook to get a feel for the subject and the writing.
    • Then, the first week of classes, go to the first meeting of every class you have time for. Sit close to the door just in case it’s an easy ‘no’ so you can slip out early. You’ll find that something that sounded interesting on paper may not be because of a droning professor, and that a subject you really hadn’t given much thought is suddenly compelling because of an engaging, intelligent, and entertaining professor.
Once you find the sections of the courses you like best, go after them. Even if a course is closed, don’t let that stop you. Many of the most popular ones are popular for a reason. Professors will often let you in if you’re enthusiastic and show up for the first day of class.