Last week, the University of Lethbridge revealed the Spring 2012 timetable! While your turn to register may still be a few weeks down the road, it’s always a good idea to plan early. But while you’re perusing your options, there are a few points that you should not forget! Here’s what I wish I’d known in first year about course selection.
Note: when in doubt, you should always consult an academic advisor to make sure that you graduate on time and with all your program requirements. That said, the following is my own experience, and I hope you can benefit from it as well!
With your program planning guide is included a sample sequencing plan – a straightforward example of an order in which to complete your courses. I’ll be honest – I didn’t follow my sequencing plan at all. In some ways, I suffered for it. For example, I put off taking any science courses until my third year, which means that I am scrambling to catch up on my science GLERs now (for more info about GLERs, see http://www.uleth.ca/ross/calendar/part04.pdf).
But there are some benefits to straying off the beaten path. For example, just because you’re a first year, doesn’t mean you have to stick to first year courses! Now that you will have a full semester of 1000-level courses under your belt, you can immediately jump into 2000-level courses next semester. The benefit of doing this is simply that you get to save some of your 1000-level courses for later on in your degree (you are only allowed to get credit for 10 of them! So choose them carefully!). Just always be sure to take note of the pre-requisites to make sure you qualify.
What’s the point in saving 1000-level courses for later? A) When you’re stressing over a 20-page paper for your fourth year courses, it will be nice to have a less stressful first year course to balance it with, and B) You may want to try out a new department later on in your degree (maybe that weird word ‘sociology’ keeps coming up, and by golly, you want to see what it’s all about!).
Additionally, you should consider that there are several courses that only happen once in a while. This is not so much the case for the lower level courses, but once you get to third year and above, it’s a good idea to scoop up the good ones while you can.
Lastly, there are a lot of great courses offered at the U of L, so feel free to venture into unfamiliar departments when course-hunting! Did you know there’s a History of Rock ‘n Roll course offered here?! If I had looked around more back when I was a first year (this particular course is in the Music department), I would have taken it. But alas, no room left in my program. Don’t make the same mistake!
In the end, I hope course selection is an enjoyable process for you! For those of you who are not yet students at the U of L, you can access the Spring 2012 timetable online to see what our university has to offer! Check it out: http://www.uleth.ca/ross/timetable/timetable_201201.htm