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By the time the middle of the semester rolls around, you not only have to worry about cramming for midterms in the classes you are currently taking, but you also have to figure out what classes you are going to take next semester (unless you are about to graduate, in which case you probably wish you were getting ready to register for another semester).  Registering for classes is usually pretty straightforward, but with so many other things on your mind, sometimes you can forget even the simplest things.  So whether it is your first or last time registering for classes, keep these things in mind so you end up with the perfect schedule.

1. Chat with your advisor

A lot of schools require a meeting with your advisor before you can register, and while it seems annoying, sometimes it is best to have someone making sure you are doing things correctly.  You may think you know which classes to take, but better safe than sorry. Also, it is their job to answer your questions, so if you need to ask someone about studying abroad, double majoring, or just need help choosing a class, they are there to help — they have to be.

2. Double check your degree requirements

That being said, universities are often bogged down by bureaucracy, so your advisor may not always be able to answer all of your questions.  I am having an issue right now because my advisors always kept me on track with my department specific requirements, but never addressed my gen-ed requirements.  If you are unsure about what you need to complete your degree, head over to your school’s website and do some searching. Once you know what these requirements are, try get them out of the way early.

3. Try to keep it at least a little interesting

If you load up on your required courses towards the beginning, or save the hardest classes until your last few semesters, you will likely end up having all boring classes, or classes with huge workloads all at the same time.  Try to make sure you take at least one interesting or easy class each semester so you can get somewhat of a break.  For example, if you are taking 4 writing based classes, try to make sure you take at least one that doesn’t involve too many papers.

4. Investigate the professors

Having a good professor can really go a long way, especially since so much about college grades can be subjective.  You probably do this already, but either ask your friends if they’ve had classes with certain professors already, or head on over to rate my professor.  As always though, take those online assessments with a grain of salt, a lot of the super angry ones could be written by lazy, disgruntled students who wanted an A without trying.   Generally though, the reviews on that site are a good starting point.

5. Make sure you are ok with the timing

Loading up with 5 or 6 classes on Tues/Thurs so you can have the rest of the week off seems like an excellent idea.  For a lot of people, this is an excellent idea, and they can totally handle it.  However, if you are the type of person who needs a mid-day nap, or has to exercise after breakfast, or who hates waking up early, it may not be the ideal schedule for you.  Make sure you keep the whole picture in mind, having a class on Friday mornings may be worth not having to drive yourself crazy running around for two days.

What do you like to do before you register?