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Students flood out of a Harvard Hall classroom during Shopping Week, a window at the start of each semester when students can try out courses before formally registering. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Finding the classes that fit

WT24 Desk

The start of the semester can be harrying. There’s moving in, settling in, and then, classes. What to take? What schedule works best? Is this class right?  That’s why, at the beginning of each semester, there’s Shopping Week, when students can sample a course before officially registering, according to Harvard Gazette.

By getting a glimpse into a class, students understand what’s expected of them, and are better equipped to plan their semesters and balance their course load accordingly. It’s helped Hugh Mayo ’18 so far. The St. Paul, Minn., native said he’s changed his concentration — from decided to undecided. But he has until November to figure it out.

“In another school, I would’ve already registered for classes under [my former] concentration; Shopping Week has helped the transition a bit,” he said. “It’s an extraordinarily beneficial opportunity to attend as many lectures as I want by as many professors as I want,” said Samuel Shapiro ’18, waiting outside Julie A. Buckler’s “Human 54: The Urban Imagination” just a few minutes before class started.

Like Mayo, Shapiro is between concentrations. Shopping Week takes a lot of the pressure off. “I can test out a bunch of these classes even if I’m not planning on taking them to understand what these concentrations will be like.”

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