The courses you take to meet the requirements for your degree will almost certainly not exactly total the 180 credits1 you need to graduate. The credits you need to bring your total to 1801 are called "general electives." General electives don't count toward any requirement except the total number of credits required for graduation. Even though it seems like you have lots of required courses to take, depending on your major and how much you overlap requirements (i.e., how efficient you are), and with a little bit of luck, you may still have some room left for any courses you may want to take.
If you choose one of the smaller majors (i.e., one that require only 50 credits in the major), you could have up to 65 credits that can be anything at all. There are a few programs, mostly in the sciences and engineering, that are so full of required courses that there are few or no electives. Most students end up with 30 credits or so of electives.
How should I spend my general electives?
That's up to you. These credits may be from virtually any undergraduate course offered at the UW, and even graduate-level courses if you have the instructor's permission.
Many students spend at least some of them investigating different majors by taking a variety of introductory courses. Most of these courses will count toward Areas of Knowledge, but if you take a lot of them in one Area some will end up being electives.
Some students concentrate their elective credits in one department, pursuing an interest and maybe completing the requirements of a minor.
Some students use their electives to prepare for a graduate or professional degree program that they hope to attend after completing a bachelor's degree. For example, if you plan to major in history and apply to medical school, you'll spend your electives on premed courses in biology, chemistry, and physics.
Or you may simply want to have some fun with your electives. Use the Course Catalog Search to find courses on any topic. Always had an interest in acting? Take some drama. Want to be more informed about environmental issues? The UW offers a wide spectrum of courses on this topic. Want to learn about Greek mythology, cave paintings, the Vietnam war, black holes, jazz? You're in the right place.