College – Check—-Classes – Huh?

In every new academic  semester, one of the most important things about college is the scheduling of classes.  Most returning students tend to choose their classes at the end of the previous semester but new incoming freshmen may do so either a couple months or a few weeks before the semester starts.  So I thought that this would be a good time to go over a couple things I learned throughout my collegiate career that pertain to this topic.

First, let’s talk about the actual time of classes.  No one knows which part of the day you function better more than you.  If you are aware that you tend to sleep late or are not really a morning person then it may be a good idea to steer clear of the 8am and 9am classes.  Although attendance requirements usually vary by professor, I am pretty sure that you have to show up to at least some of the classes.  On the other hand, if you are the type of person that wakes up early and are on top of your game in the morning, these are probably great class times for you as they play to your strengths.  I myself had a 9:30am class my first semester of freshman year and although I attended regularly, 11am was the earliest class for the rest of my academic career.

Another topic that is just as important is workload.  One mistake that students tend to make is taking too heavy of a course load.  My experience has shown me that freshmen should probably try to take about four classes during their first semester so as to get used to how much time needs to be dedicated to each class.  This approach allows you to gauge how you handle your studies and if you are indeed able to include additional classes.  Also, if you decide that you want to take a heavy course load then please be sure to include an easier class so that you won’t burn out or become too stressed.  One other note, you could take less classes but that may cause you to lose full-time status or extend your time in school, just something else to keep in mind.

Finally, and this pertains to all college students, don’t overload your schedule with classes that fall into your major/concentration.  The reason that this is not suggested is because if for some reason your semester ends up being a bad one you would not only affect your cumulative GPA but also your major/concentration GPA which could affect your program of study.  Don’t get me wrong, there will be a point that you may have a fair amount of these classes making up your schedule but that is usually in the later semesters when you are able to handle them.  So, remember, one of the biggest adjustments that you will make during college will be how you approach time management, which could probably be a whole article by itself, and choosing your class schedule is a great example of this.  Good luck.