Things to Consider When Scheduling Your Classes

Creating the perfect course schedule can be a very stressful experience, especially if it’s your very first semester. While you’re not only worried about getting into specific classes (and at specific times), you’re also worried if your schedule will give you enough time to study, work out, go to work and hang out with your friends. Everyone is different and schedule classes to their own liking, but here are some things to consider when scheduling classes.

One of the main questions that most students deal with is whether they should schedule back-to-back classes or classes that are hours apart. While there is a 10-minute interval between each class (even though on the course catalogue a class may say from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., professors will dismiss at 2:50 p.m.) some new students feel overwhelmed and stressed trying to get to their next class either because the buildings are too far apart or they are not familiarized with the campus and need extra time to find their classes. And some professors do have strict policies about tardiness.

Some students like to schedule back-to-back classes so they can get them all over with at once, leaving the rest of the day free to do whatever they need to do, like going to work. Others like to take small breaks in between. These breaks can become very useful when you need to study for an upcoming test or need to grab some lunch. If you would like to have breaks, try not to schedule your classes too far apart. For instance, it would be unwise to schedule a class at noon and then one at 5 p.m., especially if you live off campus. You’ll be forced to stay on campus the whole day or have to make more commutes back and forth from your home to campus. If you decide to schedule back-to-back classes, try to locate what buildings they will take place in. Are they relatively close? Will you have an issue making it to class on time?

It’s also important to consider if you are a morning or afternoon person. If you know that it is extremely difficult for you wake up in the mornings, do not schedule an 8 a.m. class. You’ll be wasting your professor’s time, not to mention your parent’s money, if you never make it to the classroom or sleep through your early-bird sessions.

Although during your first few semesters you’ll be mainly fulfilling pre-requisites and core courses, don’t forget to schedule a fun elective every now and then. And always have some back-up classes ready when you’re making your schedule. Sometimes classes are dropped because there was an adequate amount of students enrolled in the course, and sometimes you’ll find out during the first day that you despise the class and want to switch it out. Always have options.

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