Building my college schedule is one of my favorite things to do during the year, mostly because I have a say in what classes I take and when I get to take them! But with all that free range to do whatever, there’s lots of room for mistakes if it’s your first time making your schedule. Have no fear! TheBlondeLifestyle has your back! In this blog post you’ll find:
*Tips On Building a Great Schedule
*Tutorial On Building Your Class Schedule
*Class Schedule Examples
Of course, everyone has different needs and may find certain times work better for them, but here are my tips on how to build a great schedule for your college semester!
Tip On Building a Great Schedule
No Morning Classes
I always thought that since I had morning classes in high school, those classes would be a piece of cake for me when it came time for me to get up. Boyyy I was wrong. I had an 8 AM biology class on Tuesday and Thursdays and it was torture. Whether I had coffee or not, I couldn’t seem to keep my eyes open. If you aren’t a morning person I suggest you don’t take early morning classes if you have the option. The best time for me would have to be 9 AM or 10 AM classes. I seemed to be the most awake and I was able to pay attention in class so much better.
Stay Away From Late Late Night Classes
Late night classes are a big no no as well. Who wants to be in class at 8 PM while everyone is gearing up for the weekend? I never took a late night class but my friends that did were NOT big fans. Their night classes always conflicted with club activities and Greek life events and they always felt that they were missing out! The best college days for me were when my classes ended at around 3 PM because I still had the whole night to do everything I wanted and I wasn’t missing any important events!
Leave Time for Lunch
Nothing is worse than having your stomach gurgle in a dead silent classroom. I always leave room for lunch in my schedule so I’m not focusing on my stomach rather than my school work. When you’re hungry all you can think about is eating! From about 11-12 I try to leave a small period of time to get some food. When I don’t have time, however, I try to bring a snack of some sort whether it’s crackers or fruit snacks.
Get In, Get Out
This is something so hard to avoid with my schedule. Sometimes I can’t get all my classes around the same time so I always have these awkward gaps of 45 minutes between my classes. It’s so hard to get anything done in that time so I end up just sitting around on my phone waiting for class to start. My biggest suggestion is to try and get your classes back to back so you just get them over with all at one time.
No Extremely Long Classes
While 3-hour classes once a week sound like a blessing, they are far from it. A student’s attention span is only so long, so after awhile they start to lose interest in the subject, meaning they only retain a small amount from that class. Although it sucks going to class every day, short classes are the way to go because you’re getting refreshed on the material nearly every day and classes are only around fifty or so minutes.
Location Location Location
When building your schedule, always ALWAYS check what buildings they’re in. My freshman year I had two classes back to back with a 20-minute walk between them. I was always running to class and I was always super out of breath and tired when I got there. Since I got to class at the last minute, I also never had a great seat in class. Before you hit “send”, double check where your classes are so you don’t end up sprinting to class like me!
Understand Class Difficulty
When choosing what type of classes to take, never take multiple hard classes all at once unless you’re ready to not have a social life. Taking too many difficult courses makes it hard to juggle your work load. I take about fifteen credit hours a semester (about 5 classes), and two of those classes are my difficult ones. Any more than two starts to get a bit challenging for me. By balancing your schedule with course difficulty, being a student will be a lot easy and you’ll be more successful.
Review Your Professors
This tip tops any other piece of advice I’ll give. I’d rather have great professors than a perfectly laid out schedule ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. Having a great professor is what helped obtain my 4.0 my second semester of my freshman year. Sure I could have a perfect back to back class schedule, but if those classes were taught by low rated professors, it could be quite difficult to receive a good grade. I always use ratemyprofessor.com when I build my schedule so I make sure I’m picking the right professors when I go to pick classes!
How Building Your Schedule in College Works
Other universities or college may use different programs, but my university uses a program called “Trial Schedule Builder” which helps you build your college schedule. It lets you put in any available class that you’d like to take a gives you options on when you’d like to take these courses and gives you the option to pick your professors. Here’s how I build my schedule!
First I go to the course finder tab. This is a search bar that contains every class available at my university and sorts them into categories. I take journalism classes so I’m going to look to see what courses are open for me to take!
Now I have the journalism tab selected. Because I’m showing you guys this process in the summer, there aren’t many classes available to take, but this is the list I can choose from, so we’re going with the introduction to journalism!
So now I’ve selected a few classes I want to take that I’ve added to my course list. Basically, I can select or unselect whatever classes I want to build a schedule around! As you can see, I just selected four courses out of my long list that I want. On the right, you can also see that I added a break. This means that I can select a period of time where I don’t want ANY classes. I selected 4-10 PM just to make sure I don’t have any night classes because I have a busy agenda during the night. After I selected the classes I want to appear on my schedule, I click a button called “Generate Schedules”
AND PRESTO! I have a list of available schedules that I can pick from! Usually, I have over 1000 schedules I can pick from but, again, it’s summertime so there aren’t a lot of options for classes now. So here is where I can pick a schedule I want and look through them!
So I’ve selected a schedule and this is the one that pops up! This shows all the information about this course including the section, the days, times, location, credits, and most importantly, THE SEATS. “Seats Open” shows how many spots are left in that class. So if you’re building your schedule and the seat open section says 1 or 2, you might want to pick a different schedule because it’s very unlikely you’ll get into that class. This chart is super helpful when picking your class so you’re aware of all the class information.
The Awkward Gap Schedule (My Schedule)
This is my personal schedule that I will be using in the fall of 2017! It’s not my ideal schedule because of the gaps that you see between my classes. As you can see I have about an hour gap or so between all my classes. But there is a method to my madness! I could’ve had a schedule with all my classes back to back, but I wouldn’t have had as great professors. I always choose good professors over a perfect time schedule. I have no 8 AMs this semester thankfully so I have classes only at 9 AM and 11 AM! I left room for breakfast as well as lunch, and my days end pretty early, so I think this schedule is a win for me!
The Early Bird Schedule (Courtney’s Schedule)
This is my roommate Courtney’s schedule for Fall 2017 and wow I want to die. She has 8 AMs nearly every day and I also can’t imagine being a Biology major because wow, she’s taking some hard courses. She’s a super smart cookie though so she can do it! If you’re a morning person this schedule is for sure for you. Also notice that her days end pretty early and that’s a plus. By noon almost every day she’s done with her day. I wish that was me!
The Dream Schedule (Alex’s Schedule)
I still don’t even know how this is possible, ALEX TEACH ME YOUR SECRETS! This is my other roommate Alex’s schedule and it looks as if she’s not even enrolled in classes but she is! She takes these two classes plus two online classes that aren’t shown. So she basically only has about two classes a day and ALL THAT FREE TIME!! This schedule is certainly possible, and perfect for college students that have jobs because you’ll have a lot of extra time to do whatever!
How do you pick your college classes? Leave a comment below!