This is an excerpt from the Daily’s 2014 Orientation Issue. To read the rest of the issue, click here.

Scheduling for your first semester can be scary and difficult. You probably haven’t ever had this much control over your academic life, and choosing classes and juggling degree and distribution requirements can be confusing. Whatever you do, make sure to register for classes that you can get excited about. If you aren’t sure which to pick, check out some of our course recommendations below.

BIOLOGY 120 – First Year Seminar in Biology
First year seminars are great for exploring academic disciplines. The topics of the classes tend to be very focused, and the classes often emphasize learning and discussion instead of exams and grades. The biology seminars are especially great because their small class size and narrow topics allow students to ask questions and delve deeply into the subject without the fear that some students face in competitive science classes. This class is exceptionally good for students who may not consider themselves “science people.” Not only will it fill natural science distribution credit in the most interesting way possible, but it may even inspire a new interest.

POLSCI 160 – Introduction to World Politics
As the world becomes more integrated and globalization continues at an unbridled rate, global politics will play an increasingly important role in everything from government relations and humanitarian work to business, medicine and communication. Any career you chose will certainly be affected to some degree by international political events, and understanding them has never been more important. Because of the structure of this class, students who may not typically enjoy politics can still enjoy the course. Instead of teaching a survey history of international relations or an overview of global political issues, this class focuses on equipping students with analytical tools to understand and interpret international events of the past, present and future. Further, Prof. James Morrow, who teaches the course, is a renowned expert in international political theory, bringing unique perspectives and a creative teaching style to his students.

PSYCH 112 – Introduction to Psychology as a Natural Science
Instead of the broad overview of topics in psychology like those given in more common PSYCH 111, this class takes an in-depth look at the biological and chemical mechanisms inside our own brains. The human brain is amazingly complex, and our understanding of it is increasing. In addition to providing links between the brain and psychology, the class also fosters an understanding of scientific models. Methodological thinking is an important analytical frame of reference for subsequent work in all fields, and students will benefit from this exposure. Regardless of academic interests, knowing the biological pathways and chemical signals of the brain is interesting and useful.

PHIL 180 – Introductory Logic
Philosophy is one of the most commonly misunderstood subjects at Michigan, but a class in philosophy will likely be the most useful that you ever take. Philosophy teaches intense critical thinking skills, argumentative writing and strong reasoning — all things that will help you succeed in other classes. In particular, logic helps students to intimately understand the art of argumentation and methodological thinking. This class is especially helpful for anyone considering law school, as many of the skills taught in this class will appear on the LSAT exam.

COMPLIT 122 – Writing World Literatures
Every LSA student is required to fulfill a first-year writing requirement to graduate. Most students will take English 124 or 125, but there are actually several ways to fill this credit from classes in other departments. Whatever you choose, make sure to really explore your options to find a class that you will enjoy. One class that is particularly engaging is Comparative Literature 122. This class is great because in addition to teaching important writing skills, it exposes students to literature, poetry, film, art and other media from all over the world. All of the works are translated into English, but the cultural perspectives are maintained so that students emerge from the class with a new appreciation for other societies.

CLCIV 120 – First-year Seminar in Classical Civilization (Humanities)
Classical Civilization classes focus on classical cultures like those of the Greeks and Romans. By taking these interesting pieces of history and studying these advanced cultures, the discipline puts critical thinking, writing and comparative skills to work. The first-year seminars make the history of these ancient civilizations engaging and fun, all while introducing students to a subject that they previously may not have known existed. The topics in the class range from great speeches to the meaning of antiquity, and are sure to introduce students to the humanities in an immersive and creative way. Students can expect to leave this class with new experiences and skills that will translate well to other academic endeavors.

ECON 108 – Introductory Microeconomics Workshop
Economics 101 is a prerequisite for many majors, including the Ross School of Business and Ford School of Public Policy, in addition to being a useful and applicable class. That being said, the class is fast-paced, impersonal and competitive. In Econ 101 lecture or discussion, there are few opportunities to interact with the material directly, making Econ 108 an important opportunity to apply and more deeply understand the concepts presented in Econ 101. There are several sections, all of which focus on showing students how microeconomics applies to real-life situations. Econ 108 helps students better understand and become more interested in the topics presented in Econ 101, increasing the likelihood that students will succeed in the class and stay engaged with the discipline.

ANTHRCUL 101 – Introduction to Anthropology
This class provides an important overview of what it means to be human and belong to a human culture. It helps students understand the connections between cultures and the way in which cultures interact with society. By providing students with a unique worldview and cultural awareness, this class prepares students to enter and understand our diverse and complicated world. The topics are eye opening and, by providing an introduction to anthropology, expose students to a unique and exciting discipline. This class also helps students develop critical thinking skills. Further, because this class fulfills the Race and Ethnicity requirement, students can expect to learn a great deal about the meaning and implications of race and racism in society.

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