Summer may be coming but the days of managing your college schedule are not far behind. College is a time of opportunity and learning but can also cause a lot of stress with a overstuff schedule. For that reason I want to discuss a few thing to expect about your college schedule, as well as how to properly manage it.
1. Don’t expect to have all the classes you want
Coming from experience I know how crazy it can be during those first few weeks before class. Everyone’s scrambling to enroll in the classes they’ve sought all summer. Sometimes this leaves your college schedule with only the bare necessities like Math or English. Don’t look at it as an loss, look at it as an opportunity to take your requirements first. Electives will come, but you got to be reasonable and patient when it comes to picking the right classes.
2. Look for quality instead of quantity
It can tempting to enroll in as many classes as possible. Many students are choosing to finish early, yet they find themselves working part-time jobs or getting involved with organizations. Much can take away from a college schedule, so it best to look for quality instead of quantity. Although your schedule may look a little light for the first semester, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Go step by step and build on what worked for your first semester and then go from there.
3. Be careful of those upper level courses
If you’re a freshman going into college then it might be helpful to know the difference between lower and upper level courses on your college schedule. 1301 English for instance would be a right fit for you. 3303 Advance Creative Writing on the other hand, not so much. Don’t waist time trying to enroll in upper level classes because the university probably would just boot you out. Pre-requisites exists for a reason.
4. Your advisor is your best friend
Planning your college schedule takes time, patience, and a knowingness of what’s out there. That’s why your academic advisor should be your best friend during those first hectic weeks. Academic advisors provides insight into both the professor and class. They can also give advice about which classes to take first and which to hold off later. No one else has the skill and experience to help you manage your schedule than your academic advisor.
5. Be mindful of your time
When I first arrived in college many of my English classes were taught in the mornings. Sucks, right? That’s why researching when your classes are taught is a great way to manage your time. Trust me, you don’t want to be stuck in a class that starts at 8:00 am and somehow be able to work for 9 hours afterwards. Try to separate your work days with your college days. Unless your the type of person who would love to bring a coffee mug with you to class everyday, it’s probably best to be mindful of your time.
6. Use those credits you earned from high school
In addition to be mindful of your time, you might want to reduce the amount of time you have in college by asking your advisor about high school credits. If you earned any credits through AP or IP programs, then ask how these can fulfill any core requirements. You may not to have a full class schedule, but you may have a decent chance of taking the classes you want by transferring those high school credits to your designated college. Wouldn’t hurt to try.
7. Pick the hands on classes instead
This is actually a personal recommendation than anything, but in order to get the most out of your college experience you may want to have a hands on college schedule. Say if your goal is to be a journalist, then choose classes that requires a lot of writing and interviewing. Theory based classes are great, but they only get you so far. Working hands on is the best way to gain experience for whatever career you choose. Just be careful though, these classes often are offered to upper level students.