An elective is a course that is not required for the Core, your college, or your major at the time that you take it. These courses may be in a field you are exploring as a possible major or simply in a subject that interests you.
It is possible that a course taken as an elective in the first year will count towards a Core, college, major, or minor requirement once you have discerned your academic path. Electives that do not satisfy specific requirements will usually count towards the total number of credit hours you need for your degree.
Many first-year students have space in their schedules for one or more electives, particularly if they have received credit by examination or transfer credit for one or more courses.