If you can’t seem to choose between Biochemistry, Sociology, English, Music, Math, or Art History, this guide is for you.

There is almost nothing more stressful than planning your first-year fall schedule. It’s tough to go from your nice, neat, pre-made high school agenda to a blank white Vergil screen. Course numbers are confusing, required classes are always at the worst time, and the CU Directory of Classes operates like it’s straight out of 1993. To add to the madness, barely any of you know what you want to major in! Here are some scheduling tips to help all of you major-less first-years.

  • If you know that you’re interested in STEM, try a Calculus or Statistics course.
    • Calculus and Statistics are required for a ton of STEM majors here, so they’re a good way to get a head-start on major requirements before knowing specifically what you want to do. Even if you later decide on a major that doesn’t require either, they can count as CC Core Science or Barnard Foundations Requirements!
  • Use requirements to explore the humanities.
    • For CC/SEAS students, Global Core classes are hard to get into as first-years, but are a great way to explore subjects that you may not have had access to in high school (all while working towards completing the Core!). There are a handful of lower-level courses to check out, including African Civilizations and “Game of Thrones”: On Epics and Empires.
    • The Arts & Humanities Foundations Requirement works similarly for Barnard students, offering a way to explore new subjects while working to complete graduation requirements. Some interesting lower-level courses that satisfy this requirement include Introduction to Art History I and Design Futures: New York City. (In fact, almost every Barnard department offers at least one class that will fulfill a Foundation Requirement, so you can explore whatever major you want!)
  • Start working on your foreign language requirement!
    • Barnard and CC require two and four semesters of a foreign language, respectively, so why not start now? Don’t feel obligated to continue the language you studied in high school; Barnumbia offers some really cool, unique language classes such as Ancient Egyptian, Polish, and Zulu.
  • If you see a cool class that you want to take, take it!
    • Not every class you take during the next four years has to fulfill a requirement. Our general graduation requirements are hefty, and so are many of the majors’, but it is important to take classes that excite you! If there’s an open seat in a class that you’re interested in, jump on it!
  • Give yourself time to breathe between classes.
    • The mad 15-minute dash from the Pupin basement to Hamilton floor 6 is definitely doable, but it’s always nice to not be sweating and panting on your first day of Lit Hum. Also, please give yourself a break for lunch in the middle of the day. I know you’ve got a ginormous first-year meal plan, so use it!
  • Try to limit yourself to four classes.
    • I get it, you grinded through high school to be here, but now that you’re here, try to enjoy it! Adjusting to life on campus and in NYC will take up lots of your time, as well as joining clubs, attending unforeseen recitation sections, and spending time with your friends. Give yourself time to relax, you’ll thank me later!

Well, that’s all I’ve got. I wish all of you the best of luck as you plan your schedules! Keep an eye out for more of Bwog’s first-year content!

Confusing Class Directory via Sydney Wells