A Fresh View: Adventures in Picking Classes

Fall

Hello, Brown enthusiasts! My name is Leah Goldman, and I’ll be your socially-awkward blogger for A Fresh View for the coming year. Join me as I attempt to make my way through this slightly terrifying yet extremely exciting experience known as The First Year of College.

As with high school, in college you pick your courses early. While high schools may have you registering for the next year in February or March, at Brown you pre-register for the Spring semester in early November, which means that way too much of my time in the last week has been spent in the pages of the Brown Banner website, which is where all the courses offered this spring can be found.

If you’re like me and still a little unsure about what you want to study, this becomes an infinitely harder process because everything is an option! This is great because it means you have a lot of choices, but also very overwhelming. However, there are a lot of resources at Brown that have made my class-selection process a lot easier.

When you get to Brown, you are assigned to a faculty advisor and a Meiklejohn, which is a peer advisor (I really don’t know where the name came from, but for anyone who is dying to know the pronunciation, ‘meikle’ rhymes with pickle). You meet with them before picking your classes in the Fall, and then again before pre-registration for the Spring semester. This can be really helpful even if your Meiklejohn isn’t studying anything remotely close to what you’re interested in. Because they’ve been at Brown longer, they likely know people who have taken the courses you’re interested in, or they’ve at least heard about it, and can advise you accordingly.

Professors are also a great resource when picking classes. You can ask your current professors about their recommendations for what to take next, which I found to be very helpful. You can also email professors whose classes you’re considering taking, which is not something I have done yet myself, but I know people who have received very helpful responses from this.

Overall, despite the overwhelmingly large number of options, choosing classes really isn’t so bad. Thanks to the minimal class requirements, there’s lots of space to take courses that seem totally random and interesting, which is something I’m excited to continue to take advantage of throughout my time at Brown!

As always, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, etc. feel free to leave a comment or email me at leah_goldman@brown.edu.

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