Beginning freshmen, for example, should start working on their English requirements right away using the placement test results for the proper starting point. They should start working on their mathematics early also because while different degrees may require different math classes or math-related classes, virtually all degree programs expect students to complete work that is quantitative in nature. For example, pre-nursing students must satisfactorily complete several chemistry courses that require a strong background in algebra.
If you know what your major is going to be, it's a good idea to take one of the basic requirements in that area if you are eligible to do so. This is where the Bulletin comes in handy; you can check prerequisites to see if it's OK to sign up for a course you have in mind. On the other hand, if you do not know what your major is going to be, you might try a course to explore a discipline in which you think you might be interested. (Once again, be sure to check for prerequisites.) That class might end up later being just an elective in your program, but that is usually not a problem. You just don't want to take too many electives at the beginning of your college career.
Round out your program with general education requirements. These are courses from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences that are specifically required for your degree or are general enough that they will probably fit into your program later on when you have decided on a major. One of the advantages of taking general education courses is that often students discover an area of particular interest while they are in the process of taking them.
Using this approach you'll have a good mix of varied types of material to study as well as different types of studying to do. In other words, you'll have a lot of variety in your subject matter, and all of your classes won't be reading courses or writing courses or math courses or memorization courses--a situation that can be deadly!
Use this Worksheet to Help Plan your Schedule
Remember that your academic advisor is here to help you succeed. Attend your scheduled appointment to make sure that you are keeping on track with your requirements.