For college students, taking a first year seminar (or FYS) is totally worth it. Some schools require all first years and transfers to take it, while for others it is optional. Every college or university should require all students to take one freshman year because it not only introduces you to a college setting but also to set goals as a student.
The FYS class I took during my first year was based on in my major which we learned about marketing and advertising storytelling techniques. Assignments included creating videos to promote a product or service based on original ideas. I really enjoyed the class because it gave me experience with video editing and posting them online for the world to see. I do recommend taking an FYS that gives you a first taste of your major if they offer it, or take one that just seems appealing to you.
These courses go beyond of taking you through just exploring your major a little bit. They provide ways to help with your academic success. You will learn how to monitor the number of course credits and degree requirements needed when you graduate. For a bachelors degree, 120 course credits are needed. The class will go over how to maintain your GPA (or grade point average) with staying on top of your work, going to class and setting goals for yourself grade-wise. The minimum GPA requirement overall for graduation is 2.0 or greater. My school where I go also requires a GPA of 2.0 or greater in your major in order to graduate as well.
A FYS shows you how to register for classes and to watch for your registration period. If you have any holds on your student account or if you haven’t seen your advisor yet, you will not be able to register. You will learn how to set up appointments with your advisor so they give recommendations of what classes to take to fulfill your requirements. Remember to be prepared with a list of classes before seeing your advisor. The course will review when prior to registering, to select the classes you plan to enroll in and to save them to your account so that way you are ready to go. It definitely saves a boatload of time from scrolling through a long list to find the classes you want to take.
The class will give some ideas of making you break out of your shell even more to get more involved on campus. In other words, taking part in activities that will bring you closer to your campus community even for commuter students. Like for example, go to the schools gymnasium if you got some spare time on your hands or just to get you out of studying for a little while.
You will also learn more thoroughly about what resources and services are available to you on campus. Getting to know places like the financial aid office, tutoring services, and the library is essential so you can get assistance on everything academically and financially. Then you will know where those places are and the right people to see for help who are obviously willing to help you navigate through college successfully.
You will have some in class discussions on how your college experience has settled in with you so far, so make sure to contribute. During the discussion when your other classmates are sharing their thoughts, take some notes because whatever they have to say may help you as well.
First year seminars are not only important by introducing you to college life but to make you standout as a student even more and to take advantage of opportunities. Although it may be optional for some, I highly recommend to take one because it can definitely help grow your success down the line.