One easy mistake you can make before you get to Ball State is to poorly schedule your classes. You won’t have advisors holding your hand like they did in high school. They will help you figure out what classes you need and are there if you need to reach out, but it’s up to you to schedule a meeting.
In order to get the classes you want, you’ll want to act as soon as registration opens up. Communicate with your advisor to make sure you know when they open up and pay attention to your email. You will be notified when the priority registration is coming up. Certain classes you’ll need such as immersive learning and gen-ed classes will fill up quickly. To ensure you get the class that you want, don’t push off your registration and sign-up once your ticket opens.
Use ‘Rate My Professor’
This tool will allow you to review potential professors that are graded on a five star scaling system by past students. People will rate the difficulty of their class, teaching style and even personality. Using this is by no means necessary but you may find it to be very helpful. Often times a gen-ed class at a horrible time but with a great professor will be far more enjoyable than the same class offered at a better time but with an awful professor.
Ball State has a University Core Curriculum (UCC), but several classes can count as part of a student’s major and minor requirements as well. For example, if you’re doing a language minor, one of your Tier 3 UCC requirements can also be met by an elective course required to complete your minor. Talk to your advisor to see what your options are, that way you don’t take more classes than you need. Classes can count for minors too, and even internships can get you credit.
Find your interest
Irrespective of your major, you can fill in your elective with unique subjects unrelated to your major — like using an astronomy course to satisfy your science elective. College is a time to explore new subjects you’ve always been curious about. Electives are a great way to explore new topics. There are several opportunities to branch out, and it might even turn into a minor or another major.
Don’t take more classes than you can handle the out-of-class time for. Credit hours are based on how many hours outside of class a student is supposed to devote to studying. Although college classes have less in-class time than in high school, assignments can be more time-consuming. To be a full-time student, it’s necessary to have 12 credit hours (four three-credit classes). While you can reach up to 18 credits without paying an additional fee, students typically take 15 credit hours (five three-credit classes). If 15 hours seems like too much, it might be smart to schedule it anyway, just in case you need to drop one. The first week of the semester is when you can drop a class without receiving a withdrawal on your transcript.
Lose the 8 a.m. classes
It’s important to get as much sleep as possible, especially with a college schedule. Although it may be tempting to get your classes out of the way early, it may be better to give yourself an extra hour or two to recover from the work you did the day before.
Time tickets can be tricky at Ball State because they’re based on class standing. Be open to taking a class with a different professor than the one you wanted in case the section you want is full. Second choices also come in handy when there’s only one section of a class and it overlaps with another class you need or want to take. It might be frustrating, but second choices can be necessary to stay on track in your program.