Tips on Backpacking and Choosing Classes

Because we all know how stressful it can be…

By Esther Hur March 20, 2024
Tips on Backpacking and Choosing Classes

As the registration date for the summer/spring and fall 2024 comes closer, the anticipation of selecting classes builds, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed during this process. However, with the right strategies and resources, you can navigate this process with confidence and clarity. Here are some essential tips to help you embark on your academic adventure!

Start With a Plan

Before diving into the course guides, take some time to reflect on your academic goals and interests. Are there specific subjects you're passionate about? Are there any major requirements you need to fulfill? What about other credit requirements? Drafting a rough outline of your academic path will help you stay focused when selecting classes.

Consult With Advisors

Your academic advisors are invaluable resources who can provide personalized guidance based on your interests and academic goals. Schedule a meeting to discuss potential courses, major/minor requirements, and any concerns you may have. They can offer insights into course difficulty, prerequisites, and unique opportunities within your field of study.

Make sure to schedule your meetings early since your assigned advisor’s availability will be limited as more and more students schedule their own appointments.

Explore Your Options

The University of Michigan offers a diverse range of courses across various disciplines. Take advantage of this diversity by exploring classes outside your comfort zone. You never know what hidden gems you might discover! Whether it's an interesting elective or an interdisciplinary seminar, branching out can enrich your academic experience and broaden your perspectives. Make sure you’re actively looking through the course guides!

Utilize Tools Like Atlas and Rate My Professors

Tools like Atlas and Rate My Professors are extremely useful resources when researching potential classes and instructors.

Atlas, the University of Michigan's course planning tool, allows you to search for courses based on criteria such as department, instructor, and schedule. It also provides essential information like class descriptions, prerequisites, and enrollment statistics, helping you make informed decisions. You can also use it to build your potential schedule, which is helpful to see if you may have any time conflicts with your classes.

Rate My Professors is another excellent resource for gathering insights into instructors and course experiences. Reading reviews from past students can provide valuable insight on teaching style, course difficulty, and overall satisfaction. Keep in mind that while individual reviews may vary, patterns and trends can help you make more informed choices.

Consider Course Format and Schedule

When selecting classes, pay attention to the format and schedule. Do you prefer lectures, seminars, or hands-on workshops? Are there any time conflicts with other commitments or extracurricular activities? Always remember to factor in your personal schedule because you want to have a balanced workload, which will provide an optimal learning experience. 

Be Flexible and Adapt

Don't be afraid to adjust your plans as needed and be open to unexpected opportunities that may arise. Flexibility is important! 


Don't hesitate to utilize resources or reach out whenever you need assistance or guidance. Asking for help is not a bad thing. 

Choosing classes may seem daunting at first, but with careful planning and support, you can navigate this journey with confidence and success. Remember to start with a plan, consult with advisors, explore your options, use tools, be flexible, and take advantage of resources. Good luck and Go Blue!

Esther Hur
Esther Hur

Esther Hur is a current sophomore double majoring in film, television & media and communications & media. She is from Palisades Park, New Jersey. At U-M, Esther is involved in several music and film clubs. Outside of classes, Esther is a freelance photographer and videographer. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and exploring new areas to capture with her camera!