These are the classes I plan on taking this semester.  Neuroimmunology, Vertebrate Sensory Systems, Physics, Introduction to Linguistics
These are the classes I plan on taking this semester: Neuroimmunology, Vertebrate Sensory Systems, Physics, Introduction to Linguistics and Turbo Kickboxing

Having to register for classes is a sign that the semester is almost over.  This coming week is registration week.  For the last two weeks, students have been spending time on the course catalog meticulously planning out next semester. One of my classmates referred to the day that the Fall 2013 classes came out as Christmas morning.  It’s always so exciting to scroll through all the potential classes looking for favorite professors or unique, once-in-a-lifetime courses.

For me, designing my schedule is a long and complicated process. It involves looking at many things simultaneously including the course catalog, major requirements and course reviews among other things. The Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) have wonderful resources to help with this process from course and professor reviews to a calendar to help with schedule planning. Even though I tend to have an idea of the classes I want to take before making my schedule, plans always end up changing several times before registration day. I think this is because my course schedule greatly affects many aspects of life.  Obviously, the courses themselves are important for both completing majors and  general intellectual fulfillment. But timing also plays a huge role in determining what life every semester will be like.  For instance, many students try to avoid morning or Friday classes, while others, like myself, try to balance out their course load and lab days throughout the week.

This time around, choosing my classes was particularly exciting because as a junior, I will finally be able to take upper division neuroscience courses.  I have finally finished my prerequisites and can therefore begin to specialize in the fields of neuroscience that interest me most such as neuroimmunology and vertebrate sensory systems.  Deciding on the classes not within my major is always a little more difficult.  While I am absolutely passionate about neuroscience, I always try to make sure that I take non-science courses to help balance my schedule (see: my previous post about the importance of balancing science and humanities).  This decision is always the hardest for me.  Do I take a history, philosophy, English, or religious studies class?  Should I take a class at another one of the 5Cs?  Do I want a research based or discussion based class?  I don’t take this decision very lightly at all because I know that once I leave Pomona, I will most likely never again have the chance to take such diverse classes.  This semester I decided to take introduction to linguistics, a class I have been wanting to take for a while.

Attending a school with so many opportunities is 99% of the time an amazing thing.  But sometimes too many choices makes life a little more complicated.  I’m happy with the schedule I chose and I hope that everything works out as planned this Wednesday morning as I prepare to register for my first semester as a junior at Pomona College.