It’s finally happening! You’ve made it through high school, and now you’re officially a college student. However, this newfound freedom means you have to start making active decisions, starting with scheduling your own classes. Navigating your options can be overwhelming, which is why we’re here to give you the advice we needed when we were freshmen.
Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when scheduling your classes as a freshman:
Waiting too long to register for classes
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is waiting too long after registration opens to sign up for classes. Depending on the classes you need to take, they can fill up very quickly. This can make it difficult for you moving forward, as you may realize a class you really need is no longer available. Suddenly you’ll be scrambling to figure out an alternative which can be extremely stressful.
Instead, make sure you take a look at the schedule of classes before registration opens. Have an idea of what classes you want to sign up for. If your school gives you an option to pre-select classes, so your schedule is ready the day registration opens up. Take advantage of this! The sooner you decide on your classes and the sooner you sign up, the easier your life will be.
Scheduling your classes back-to-back
Taking two classes one right after the other is usually ok, but once you have three or more classes without any breaks, your mind can get fatigued. Try to schedule some breaks in between your classes so you have time to recharge, eat some food, and mentally prepare for the next class. Longer breaks in between can also give you time to get some homework or studying done. Luckily, college schedules give you a lot of flexibility so you can schedule time during the day to work, schedule meetings, and get help with material if needed. If you’re struggling in class and need some help outside your professor’s office hours, consider Chegg Tutors. Whether you want to squeeze in a small session in between classes or have a longer session in the evening, they’re available online 24/7.
Not researching your professors
Your professor can really make or break your experience in a class. If you see multiple professors available for the same class, take the time to research each one. A quick Google search will usually yield results unless the professor is brand new. Word of mouth works well too; talk to peers who have taken the class before and get their opinion. Some professors are tougher than others and make it more difficult for you to get a good grade. Alternatively, if only one professor is available and they have a reputation for being harder on students, find out which professor is teaching next semester. If he or she has a better reputation and your schedule has that kind of flexibility, consider waiting to take the class another time.
Ignoring your body’s natural routine
Schedule classes during times that resonate with your body’s prime functioning. If you’re a morning person, schedule your classes earlier in the day, so you’re fresh and attentive. If you’re more of a night owl, schedule your classes later in the day, so you can sleep in and get the hours you need to function properly. Don’t try to force yourself to become a morning person if you don’t need to be since adjusting can sometimes be difficult. At the end of the day, you know your body best, so use that knowledge to your advantage.
Taking too many classes
You have an intimidating number of credits you need to complete before you can graduate with your degree. It may be tempting to load up on credits to make sure you’ll meet all the requirements. Besides, you were able to take anywhere from 6 to 8 classes at a time during high school. College should be no different, right?
While some students may be able to handle that level of rigor, we don’t recommend taking more than 3 or 4 classes during your first semester. College is different from high school, and you need to give yourself a chance to adjust so you can really understand what you can handle. If this class load is manageable for you during your first semester, you may consider taking more credits moving forward. However, if you find yourself struggling with the workload, you may want to wait before taking more classes.
Scheduling classes can be overwhelming, but once you know what to look for and avoid, it becomes a lot easier. The tips in this article are a great starting point. Before you know it, you’ll be a scheduling pro!
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