By: Jenna Hathaway
Every beginning of term, you are faced with the impossible task of choosing just five classes from the long list of fascinating, intriguing, and very interesting names that is presented before you. If you’re a newbie, no doubt this is the most exciting part of starting your HOL experience, but even to me, a Seventh Year, this is still my favorite part of my HOL year. Which is why for me especially next term’s choices will be painstakingly made given that they will be the last five classes I will ever have and the last five slots I will get to use. (Okay, you can still take classes as a Professor indefinitely, but the points won’t count. And you won’t technically be a student.)
But for you, lucky bright-eyed newbies! You still have seven whole years before you, which totals to seventy slots of classes you can use throughout your stay at HOL. The possibilities are endless, but you will still need to choose only five classes per term and that choice will still be difficult because you can’t count on being able to take the other classes on your ‘want’ list next term or next year. We never know which ones of them will be there to stay and which won’t. (Sometimes you can know by asking the Professor, of course, but even then RL circumstances might make things change unexpectedly) Not to mention the fact that every term there will be brand new classes that no doubt will reduce your slots even more until eventually you simply find it impossible to take them all. So you need to be sure to always choose your priority classes.
So here’s a simple How-To Guide to picking your classes!
1. Pick the subjects that interest you
This is the most important thing. Most new students will want “canon” subjects such as Transfiguration, Potions, Charms, etc like the ones in the Harry Potter books. But not everyone will like those subjects. For example, I have never been interested in Potions or Herbology, so those classes never really appeal to me. So even though they’re “canon” classes, I don’t find the need to take them. Because you don’t need to. There aren’t mandatory subjects at HOL. Pick only classes you like because you’re here for fun! You already have to take classes you hate at school, so why do it here?
2. Check out the class website
You can usually tell what the class is about right off the bat, but sometimes the name can either be misleading or confusing. So make sure you check the website before clicking sign up! You don’t want to sign up for a Charms class you think is about spells when it’s actually about charming your fellow students, do you? (Okay, we don’t have that kind of class here. But you get what I mean). Even if you’re sure it’s the topic you had in mind, checking the syllabus to see which aspects of it will be covered will still be useful. There is a vast world surrounding Quidditch, for example, and you don’t want to find out the class you hope will teach you how to play it turns out to be covering its history instead.
3. Check out the lessons and assignments
The class will usually have one or two lessons and assignments up. Skim the lesson to make sure you will be interested in reading it. And check the type of assignment to see if it’s your type of assignment. If you don’t like writing essays and the class requires you to write one for every assignment, you might want to skip it. There are a wide variety of classes with a wide variety of assignment types at HOL. Some will let you choose among a few of them – these are always ideal – but some will not. So be very careful because you’ll have to do assignments every month and you don’t want to get stuck with the ones you hate.
4. Make note of the teacher
Class teachers disappear sometimes. By checking the teacher’s HOL history (such as checking their HOL file), you can see if they have a good record of being active or not. If they’ve been racking points consistently every term and all their classes never get canceled, then you can count on them being reliable. If it’s a first-time teacher I usually wait until the second term before taking the class just to see if the teacher will stick around. Of course, sometimes extreme circumstances can make even the most reliable teacher unable to finish their class for some reason or other, but by doing a little research you can make sure that you’re not stuck in a class that’s bound to be abandoned.
5. One term or full year?
Full year classes will take up more slots than one term classes because they last one year instead of one term, not allowing you to take up a different class on its place next term. For people who prefer variety, one term classes are more appealing. But some full year classes are just too good to pass up. I would suggest not taking five full year classes at once, though, because you might get bored of having only those five classes the entire year.
Most classes have one assignment every month, due at the end of that month. But others only have one deadline. If you’re the type of person who likes doing everything in one go, the latter type of class might be better for you. But if you like doing one each month, you can also still take the type of class with one deadline because the teacher will allow you to send assignments in whenever you like, including one each month.
These are the main pointers you might need to decide on your first five classes. I hope this will be useful both to newbies and oldbies. Happy class-picking!
Topic: Articles Tags: articles, jenna hathaway, newbie guide