SparkNotes Blog

Registering 101: Classes to Sign up for Freshman Year of College

Signing up for college courses can be daunting—there are just so many options! It’s worse then being at Subway and not knowing which footlong you desire. Do you want it toasted? How about cheese? What kind of chips do you want? Maybe you want a cookie instead? This is hard, right?


Your counselor will probably say things like, “Relax, kid, it doesn’t matter what you take freshman year! It all counts for some requirement.” But we’re here to tell you it’s important to choose what you like—and not just what classes your finger happens to land on when you play the “Close Your Eyes and See Which Class Your Finger Lands On” game. Here are some suggestions you should follow if you want to make your first semester super-successful:

Film: When making new friends in college, it’s good to have some common ground, and since most normal human beings enjoy watching movies, films are definitely good general references points to sprinkle into conversations. Being knowledgeable about films can make you appear more interesting to the cute baristas you’ll be sure to get to know at the coffee shop where you’ll do your homework. Wow them with your knowledge of Spanish films and your theories on Citizen Kane. Cute kitten-eyed girls love that stuff.

US History: HELLO! If you live in America, you should know as much about your history as possible! The list of reasons is endless: should you meet a cute foreign student you want to marry, you can help him pass his citizenship test. Should you decide to run for president, you need to prepare for interviews so you don’t end up taking a Palin-style nosedive on Katie Couric. Should you actually become president, you need to know which mistakes America should not make again in the future. Plus, history classes will give you fodder for conversation with your grandparents.

Drawing 101: Do you blow glass? Are you interested in ceramics? How about photography? Yeah, we know, you fancy yourself an artist. Maybe drawing isn’t your thing, but you should be aware it’s a prerequisite for almost every art classes. Need some extra money? This class will give you the perfect in with the art department, and word on the street is sometimes they need brave models who don’t mind not wearing pants.

Music Class: The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a version of this class nicknamed “Clap for Credit,” because it’s exactly that: a class that gives you credit simply for showing up to hear music. How is that not fun? You’ll acquire some basic knowledge of music (which will come in handy when you ask out a music major sophomore year), and will likely be treated to weekly in-class performances. While some of the class will certainly focus on classic music (a perfect background for napping), some classes will expose you to less traditional sounds and instruments like the Aquaggaswack. It’s certain to tickle your eardrums.

Women’s Studies: This class should be mandatory for anyone wears a bra. Not only do you learn everything your mother or your teachers never wanted to tell you about your body, but also it’s generally a cool place to meet girls. That’s certainly a reason for guys to take it too (plus, it sometimes counts as a science credit, and compared to physics, it’s easy). Women’s Studies will teach you about pregnancy, too, which is going to come in handy for a good portion of the population. Study up!