Advice from Upper-Year Students
English and Great Books
DON'T TRY TO PLAN YOUR ENTIRE DEGREE
Going into my first year, I remember sitting with my dad, going through the courses available, and graduation requirements, and all those seemingly daunting things. I wanted to plan out my next four years, and I remember being super overwhelmed.
TAKE DIVERSE COURSES
Since then, I have taken a little Anthropology, Criminology, and Biology! None of which became my major, but I still took things from each of those classes.
BE PREPARED TO BE SURPRISED BY WHAT YOU LOVE
The beauty of the liberal arts education is you have the freedom, especially in your first year, to take a little of everything, and see what interests you. I came to STU with no intent to major in Great Books, but fell in love after my first Aquinas class, and now Great Books is my major!
Criminology and Human Rights
HAVE ALTERNATIVE CLASS TIMES READY
It may be difficult to get into your preferred section of a certain class, but that’s okay! Most intro classes are offered at many different times during the week, so take a look at alternate time slots for your most important courses and be ready with back-ups in case. There’s nothing wrong with being a little extra prepared!
Great Books, Human Rights, Political Science
YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR MIND
Don’t worry too much about making your schedule ‘perfect’ when you register in the spring. It’s perfectly okay to show up to the first class in the fall, decide that course isn’t for you, and pick a different one! I didn’t realize you could do this until my third year, but it makes choosing classes much less stressful.
If you want more information on a course, you can email the professor over the summer. They will usually be able to provide you with a syllabus for the course, so you will know what to expect.
Economics, International Relations
YOU HAVE OPTIONS
I fell in love with Economics but it didn’t stop me from trying different things. I tried Political Science courses and realized I wanted to take International Relations. I registered in Italian to balance my schedule with courses needed for my major and courses that would give me new skills and it gave me the opportunity to learn a new language.
EMBRACE THE EXPERIENCE
Choosing courses now seems like a life-defining decision, but it’s more like a trial. You start somewhere and you may end somewhere else without expecting it. Always remember that university is an experience—take it slowly and enjoy every second of it.
YOU HAVE TIME
You have time to choose what courses you like and to schedule courses based on your personal needs. You have time to figure out what you want to major in and you certainly don’t need to know that now.
Criminology, Human Rights, Anthropology
DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF
Don't limit yourself to courses that you need to achieve your major—take courses on topics you enjoy and are curious about. The beautiful thing about STU being small is how accessible it is. There is something for everyone, you just have to be brave enough to go for it.