Since we have all been spending plenty of time indoors, this is a perfect opportunity to consider our futures. Registration for summer and fall semesters has been available for a few weeks now. The hectic circumstances may have distracted you, but don’t worry. It’s not too late.

Here are a few things to consider when registering for classes. Consult your academic advisor before making any course schedule decisions.

General education requirements

The eternal constant of a university are its general education requirements. Before you dive fully into your major and minor, you should try to get your gen eds out of the way. 

However, that doesn’t mean they have to be a slog. Gen eds may not cover your area of study, but they’re a great way to explore new knowledge and find new interests.

Treat your gen eds the same way you would an elective. Find something that truly interests you and take it. 

Major/minor requirements

Major and minor requirements are very different from gen eds. They, of course, depend on your areas of study. 

Your major and minor courses are the most important courses you’ll take. Plus, they’ll probably be the hardest once you get far enough into your university career. As such, carefully consider each course’s workload and how much time you can dedicate to each class. 

If you’re far enough into your major, consider specializing by taking courses on specific topics within your major. History majors can take courses about a specific region or time period. English majors can take classes about a specific area of literature.

Minors require fewer hours while offering much the same selection as majors, so they’re a lot easier to specialize. Don’t treat minors as lesser parts of your degree. 

Consider double-minoring/majoring

Once all your requirements are taken care of, you may have a lot of empty hours to fill. It’s open seas from here on and its easy to get confused by the number of options. 

It may be tempting to take extra classes. That’s a great idea if you do it right, offering more opportunities to discover interests. 

One option you have is to pursue a second major or a double minor. Once you wrap up your minor, you’re usually only a few hours and a capstone away from a double major. Similarly, you can pursue a second minor if you have the time. 

Non-major/minor interests

You can take more of your major courses and specialize, but another option is to step outside you major and minor entirely.

UT offers a wide variety of courses, most of them not relating to your area of study. It would be a shame to pass them up and risk passing up new experiences.

We even wrote an entire article about interesting fall classes. Consider giving it a read.

Workload and mental health

This is all very exciting, but the registration and new semester excitement will eventually fade, and you’ll be left with the courses you have chosen and their respective workloads.

It would be wise to fully consider the workload you are signing up for. It is easier to feel confident about a semester when you are a few months detached, but that confidence can quickly turn to stress and over exhaustion.

We’re all here to learn and study, and we need to do those things. But we can’t overextend, as that’ll just hurt us academically and mentally in the long run. 

Understand the workload you’re comfortable with and pursue that level of coursework.

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