College is a time of change, financial commitments, and lots of work. Bud amidst all this chaos (college is fun, but chaotic nonetheless), you can successfully stay on track by managing your classes and schedule. Read on for five tips that will help students choose courses and make the most of their time.
Don’t Schedule Early Classes
Living in the dorms is not always conducive to a great night’s rest. Even if you normally call it a night early, there’s no guarantee that the people around you (your roommate included) will do the same. From time to time, your neighbors will likely keep you up past your “bedtime.”
Freshmen are notorious for missing class, especially if it’s an early-morning course. If you want to be at your best and sharpest, schedule classes that are in the early afternoon or evening.
Register as Early as Possible
Registering for classes as soon as possible is extraordinarily important if you want to graduate on time and excel in your coursework. Enrolling early will help you land the classes you need to get your degree, avoid over-booked courses, and find the ideal times for your schedule.
Plus, if you have other obligations—a job, sports, university clubs, etc.—your schedule will be booked as is. Coursework should always be your top priority, so make sure your schedule is working with you—not against you.
Talk to Other Students
No one has more collective knowledge than your school’s student body. You can tap into this knowledge base by talking to recent graduates and former students about specific classes, the top teachers for your degree, and what materials will be needed. This information will help you pick relevant classes for your degree, avoid teachers you might not enjoy, and have a better college experience in general.
Take a Variety of Classes
Some students prefer to complete all of their least favorite classes within a short amount of time. This may mean front-loading all of their math and science coursework into their freshman year, so they can lighten the load a bit in the following years.
However, employing this strategy sometimes results in burnout, as you can begin to loathe your regimented schedule. You might feel overloaded by classes you don’t enjoy and struggle through your coursework. Instead, take a variety of classes and focus on the courses that you enjoy, rather than feeling swamped with one painful course after another.
Taking a variety of classes will also allow you to build the stepping stones for your career. By signing up for all kinds of courses—marketing, business, writing, accounting—you’ll discover the subjects that truly interest you. Remember, college is meant for you to navigate a wide variety of fields, then pick your favorite to focus on.
The best way to find out if you like a class is to actually enroll in it. This strategy might sound obvious, but it’s the only tried-and-true method. You can ask your friends about the teacher and read online reviews about the class, but nothing can replace in-person experience.
Many students will be dropping and signing up for classes during the first two weeks of the semester. While this happens, you should sample as many classes as possible to find the best ones. If they become available for that semester, you can waitlist or enroll in the class.