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Before there was NOVO, there was DART, so if you hear upperclassmen darting, we actually mean registering for classes. But beyond that, there is more to learn and know before you NOVO for a course. Take heed because the drop date is not too far away. Here are 4 tips for class registration that every underclassmen should know before senior year and it’s too late.

1) Holding Classes

If you are a freshmen or sophomore, you’re at the bottom of the totem pole. It’s okay, we’ve all been there and have done our time. So, yes, you’ll be left with all the classes that are less desirable, but there are tricks to take to get classes that you want, given that they are not class year restricted. Meet upperclassmen. Seriously, not only will you get guidance from your more knowledgeable friends who have done it themselves, but they can actually help you NOVO and hold a spot for you because they are the first group to register first. All they have to do is register and during a communal time, just drop and add, respectively. It’s that easy and it’s something that most college students don’t realize at Notre Dame.

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2) Requirements

You came to the #1 Catholic school in the United States. Congrats. But that also means that you have course requirements: two theology classes and two philosophy classes. Most underclassmen aren’t too thrilled that they have to take them, but hey, they do teach you a lot. In any case, you probably want to get them out of the way as fast as possible, but hold up. These classes are good fillers and they are more laid back relatively to your major classes, so take it easy and take one of the four per semester. However, during your  freshmen year, definitely take one theology and one philosophy during the Fall and Spring because Notre Dame offers seminars for them SPECIFICALLY for first years, meaning that they are so much easier than taking Theo 1 and Philo 1 during your sophomore year. I don’t know why this is, but take advantage of it and register early on.

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3) Planning

Pretty early on, you should have an idea of what classes you want to take to graduate and whether or not you want to double major or minor in something. You might have a range of interests and want to take the Readings of Narnia one semester and Woodworks in another, but how about honing what you want and working towards another degree. It’s fine wanting to explore and taking fun classes, but don’t overdo it. You’ll end up with a hodgepodge of classes and you still need to think about employment because to be honest, we’re mostly here for a piece of paper justifying that we are good workers. Just know that employers do like seeing focus too.

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4) Study Abroad

Around 60% of Notre Dame students study abroad some time or another during their four years. Because of this, you need to make sure to register and finish nearly half of your college requirements before you go abroad Junior year so that you can really have fun abroad without worrying too much about your more important classes. This will also allow you to open up your schedule to taking local classes that pertain to the culture and history of the country that you are studying in. And, this is the point of studying abroad– getting to fully experience the society of the country without worrying about the next assignment on cellular reproductive process or the discounted cash flow of a merger.

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Well, you have one more month to get it right. Keep these tips in mind and be thoughtful about the rest of the time you have at this wonderful university. There are so many opportunities and enriching classes. Don’t lose sight to only registering for classes you need. Spend some time to explore and try out new things and with some foresight and planning, you’ll be on your way to making that best of your time here.


Grace Chow

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