Taking a junior level class as a freshman?

Hello! I’ll be starting as a college freshman this fall, and I set up my class schedule last month at orientation. I’m very happy with it, but I do have one concern that I’d like to get some feedback on.

I’m enrolled in a history class that is supposed to be for juniors. History is my major. When I went for pre-advising the day before I registered for classes at orientation, the history adviser recommended that we go ahead and take an upper level history class first semester, because they tend to be way more interesting and challenging than the intro courses. She said that UConn wouldn’t have accepted us if we couldn’t handle it. I’m still worried that I made the wrong decision though, and have gotten myself into a situation way over my skill level.

I’m really excited for this class, because it’s exactly the kind of stuff I’m looking to learn about (history of women and gender). I’m just worried that my writing and research skills might not be up to snuff. I took APUSH and my English class this year was dual credit/AP (Lit, not Lang). I got a 5 on both exams and did very well in the classes, but I’m not sure if I’ve exercised the right types of writing to be successful in this class. I also haven’t had to write an essay with any real research component since freshman year of high school.

I’m not planning on dropping or swapping the class just yet, but when the semester starts I hope to go to the professor’s office hours and ask her whether she thinks I should stay in the class, and if so, for some advice to make it a good experience. I also hope to go to the college’s writing center with my first paper, whichever class that ends up being for.

Have any of you been in a similar situation? Is it probably going to be okay? I’m getting a little anxious about it when I’m not sure I even should be.

Thank you so much!

Don’t overthink this. It’s fine to take any class for which you have the prerequisites.

Agreeing with @halcyonheather: there will be an add/drop period for the first weeks of term. Go, start the class, see how it feels. Right now you are getting anxious about a maybe…and if it’s like most things that we get anxious about too early, it will end up being fine, but a class that you think is going to be easy will sneak up and bite you!

By all means go to the professor- when you have a reason. No need to go in and create doubts without evidence. Using the writing center early and often is an excellent idea.

I’m taking a junior-level film studies class this semester after getting approval from my advisor. As long as you’re okay with being the only freshman, it’ll be fine.

You’ll be fine. Last year, as a freshman, I was taking sophomore-level CS and sophomore/junior level math (my majors). In fact, spring semester, I was the only freshman in my math class and there were quite a few seniors. I did better than a lot of the juniors. If you meet the prerequisites, then it does really matter what “level” the class is.

It’s history. If you were taking a class for a major where the classes HAD to be in sequential order (aka all sciences/engineering) then it would be a poor choice. Odds are, it wouldn’t be much more difficult than a 100 level course. Higher level courses also tend to be more interesting. You have nothing to lose, so I’d say go for it.

I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Typically by junior year, all the weed-out courses have completed and the more serious crowd begins to pool together, so don’t stress. That’s not to say it won’t be a challenging class, but the freshman/entry level courses might be filled with people (and instructors) who honestly don’t care that much. Since it’s history, the jump from freshman to junior probably would be negligible. The only thing that might be expected at that point though is how to research and write papers. Since you haven’t had as much of that preparation as your typical sophomore/junior in that class, that may put you at a very slight disadvantage. But again, that’s something you should’ve definitely learned how to do in high school.

Heck, I took my first round of senior level courses this past spring. While they were mathematics courses, they were one of those new subjects where very little prior preparation was needed and everything required was learned in that class!

I agree…sign up for it (if you meet the pre-requisites). Sign up for a back up class (or pick one out) and attend that too. Drop one of the classes after you talk to the professor in the history class and ask how freshman normally do in the class and if they think you have the background to be successful.

As long as you are fine on pre-reqs, you’re fine for the course. I took a 400 level Anthro course as a freshmen and except for some strange looks during introductions, it was totally fine.

Don’t worry. Higher level classes doesn’t mean harder (in fact, in many cases it can mean easier, though not always). If your advisor said there’s nothing to worry about then there’s probably really nothing to worry about.

I took a game theory class my first semester in the information school (not economics) that was all grad students. It had no prerequisites and wasn’t hard.