Schedule Your Best Semester Yet

schedule-your-best-semesterWhen it’s time to crack open that course guide, there’s more to think about than the credits you need for your major. Here are some things to keep in mind when making your next schedule.

1. Take at least one class you’re excited about
It doesn’t even have to be related to your major. If you like doing the homework for at least one class, it will make harder or less interesting required courses more tolerable.

2. Vet the professor

A good teacher can make anything interesting, and a bad one can your favorite subject, particularly in lecture courses. At Sarah Lawrence College, students can’t take a course with out taking to the professor one-on-one first. Other colleges have “shopping” periods. Most colleges don’t have these luxuries, so doing your research is even more important. Although Ratemyprofessor.com can be a good resource, but you should also beware of polarized opinions when using it. Try to talk to friends whose opinions you trust. Consider going to your academic adviser, they’ve probably been around long enough to know who gets praised and who gets panned.

3. Don’t be afraid of morning classes
Let’s face it, if you don’t have class until 2:00 PM, you’ll probably sleep until 1:00. Getting a good start in the morning can lead to more productive days. Plus, at some schools morning classes are smaller.

4. Don’t be sucked in by catchy titles
I had a friend who signed up for “Exploring the Universe,” only to find out it was a very dry application of physics in outer space. Avoid this pitfall by checking out the reading list and typical assignments.

5. Consider Location
If you go to school on a big campus, consider the location of classes when making your schedule. Don’t be the student who’s always late because they only have a ten minute gap to run between buildings that are two miles apart.

6. Don’t overload
Although it may seem appealing to get lots of credits out of the way at once, it’s better to devote more time to doing very well in fewer classes. Your GPA will thank you.

7. Be Free to Experiment
Read course descriptions from every section of the course guide. You may never find out if  you love computer programming until you take intro to computer science. It’s corny but true: college is a time to figure out what you actually like–and don’t.

Read More: The Most Unusual College Courses








6 Responses to “Schedule Your Best Semester Yet”

  1. Charles says:

    I really agree with the advice to take classes to expand your mind, and may not have encountered before. I took too many courses in the same discipline and regretted the lack of breadth later.

  2. Bunny says:

    How I wish I had had this advice when I was in college!

  3. nlb says:

    This is a great list. I’m using it with the kids I’m tutoring.


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