It is a few weeks into the semester, meaning that the time is quickly approaching when you are no longer eligible to drop and add classes. At this pivotal point, it's imperative that you sit on the couch in your underwear for a moment and re-assess just what those classes on your schedule offer to you. To expedite the process, I've provided some helpful criteria.
Difficulty: Tough situations do not make you a tougher person. They make you a miserable person, one that punches walls with their non-pitching hand and drinks too much. And while the latter is rad, binge drinking should be conducted out of gross disrespect for your body and health, not because you're depressed or angry. That said; don't think that taking harder classes is good for you. Your college transcript is only worth anything if you're going to grad school or applying for your first job, and often times it doesn't even matter then. Hell, you can make it not matter with the engaging interpersonal skills that you develop over late-night Beirut the night before a Comp Sci 108 exam. Enjoy yourself. Take easy classes. The folks'll love all those Dean's List certificates, and no one will ever know that you never took anything above a 110-level class while earning them.
The opposite sex. And sex: Bars and parties are swell places to meet mates, as long as you're not hoping to remember them. Class, on the other hand, is the perfect location in which to foster a long term love. Not only does a sober classroom environment give you a chance to ingrain your love's likeness deep into your mind, but it also provides a veritable cornucopia of homework-based pick up lines. Don't saddle yourself with a course that's devoid of eye candy. Follow the fornication fodder. What else are you supposed to pay attention to in class?
The size of the class: It's inevitable: as hectic as college has become, there are going to be days when you're tired during class so tired, in fact, that you doubt your ability to make it through. But if you're in a class of four people, three things are likely:
I don't care where you go to school there must be large lecture classes. Even if you go to school with a total of 75 students, there must be some course in which they're all enrolled. Take that one, and use the time to "gather your bearings" or, as will more often be the case, "barf / grab a morning quickie / play Tecmo Super Bowl."
Time of day: Building upon what we established with "'size of class," the "time of class" can be just as important. Remember that night when you checked your watch in between rounds of "drinking strip Trivial Pursuit" and realized that your class started fifteen minutes earlier? Why subject yourself to such terrors? Determine your morning threshold and never take a class that meets before it. During my junior year I had a French class early in the morning after a raucous weekly drinking night. On one occasion I was actually still drunk when I arrived at class the next morning. If you've ever experienced the half-hammered / half-hungover / completely confused feeling of waking up drunk, try it when everyone in your seven-person class is speaking French to you. Actually, don't try it. Take classes that meet after 4:00 PM. If you're still showing up drunk, well, my hat's off to you.
Major: You need to be open-minded here: "It's for my major" has never, and will never, be a valid argument or excuse. It's been said that every student changes their major seven or eight times during their college career. Curiously, that statistic never reveals why. Well, you know how you watch that gorgeous artsy-hot chick walk into her English class every morning while you stumble out of your early-morning engineering workshop? That's why students switch majors. Time to get your priorities straight. This is college. You have the whole rest of your life to "do things that will actually advance your career."
Dean's got a new column out called Rise and Shine so check that and Steve's new one as well.
Thanks to RateMyProfessors" for sponsoring this update. Now, hotlinks.