Most seniors will tell you that their first semester of college was a nightmare because of poor scheduling. Scheduling classes takes a lot of thought and self-reflection, and most of us, unfortunately, don’t get the hang of it until the last year. So, for those who still have plenty of semesters left, here are some things to consider to make your days run smoothly.
MWF vs. TR
When making this choice, one answer is obvious: never choose both. By choosing one over the other, students give themselves a few days to study and relax.
MWF classes are 50 minutes long and distributed over the entire week, while TR classes only meet twice a week with class periods as long as an hour and half.
These gut-punching TR classes can leave you burnt out, but they gives you a Wednesday and a four-day weekend to recharge.
If you’re not a morning person, don’t sign up for early classes. Between breakfast, getting dressed, driving and parking, many students will find the 8 AM class to be a bigger terror than they bargained for.
If you live off campus especially, schedule your classes to run efficiently into each other. Scheduling a random break between classes may seem like a good idea at first, but you’ll eventually come to loathe it.
Keep an eye out for building and classroom numbers, and have a campus map on hand. You may find that the only way to get to one class is by taking the bus or riding your bike, which could be a disaster if you only have 15 minutes between classes. Before settling on a specific schedule, be sure that you are able to reach your classrooms on time.
Balance is key. Avoid taking classes that are similar to each other. Don’t overload on required courses or overall hours, but don’t go easy on yourself or postpone them either.
One of the best ways to choose your schedule is by signing up for multiple classes and trying them out during the drop-add period. On the first day of the semester, go to lectures, talk with professors, read syllabi and drop the courses that you don’t want.
Always visit your advisor and ask for their suggestions. Being familiar with the scheduling process and your major, they can examine your choices, recommend other classes and verify that you are meeting all of the requirements. This visit will make you more comfortable with your decision.
Whether you’re in your freshman year or senior year, it’s important to take the time and effort to think about your class schedule. It may seem insignificant at first, but not only will proper scheduling make your current semester easier, but it will make your future semesters easier too.
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