6 Tips for Creating Your Class Schedule

Late November of my freshman year, I woke up about three hours earlier than normal, sitting across from my roommate. The reason? It was time for us to schedule our spring classes. Now, I knew absolutely nothing about scheduling then, at least not more than the basics. My freshmen advisors had been helpful, but not quite helpful enough to have me avoid the server crash that was coming.  Here are some tips that would have helped me on that morning;

1) Know exactly when you can register. The first time I tried registering on my own, it was not open for freshmen, but only for seniors and juniors at that time. Knowing when you can register is one of the most helpful things, because when you know exactly when, you can be all the better prepared to register as soon as possible.

2) Try to fix any problems ahead of time.  If you cannot register, it’s best to know why. If there is a hold on your account, one of the most common examples, try to fix that beforehand, if possible.  That can easily put you behind in your scheduling for classes that you need.

3) Know when your classes are offered. I went to a small school, so I think that has a big impact on this tip. We had classes, especially in the smaller majors (which I was in), that were only offered once every two years. So, it was especially important that you got those classes when they were offered, as you only had (in theory) two chances to take them.

4) Have backups. Freshmen are usually at the bottom of the scheduling pile, so you’ll get whatever was leftover from all the other students. Because of that, it is quite probable that you will not get the classes that you had originally planned on taking.  Now, this applies to both classes and section that you may have been planning on taking.  The good news is, you’ll have more flexibility in your choice, the bad news is, and you might not have much choice by the time it gets around to you. My second semester at school involved all 8 AM classes, and none of them were my original choices, simply because everything else was full.

5) Don’t go over your head. Sign up for classes that are intended for your grade. Even if they are only offered twice, there’s still time your junior year. One of my friends (who just finished her first year) ended up taking a 300 level class this past year, and, while she did manage to keep it, it put her through a lot of stress. Quite frankly, if you haven’t gone through the introductory courses, you easily cannot be prepared for the higher levels. This advice is also important if you are not fully committed to your major, or even any. Stick with the gen Eds, if possible.

6) Make sure you understand your requirements. This happened to me, and, in some ways, I’m still kicking myself for it.  In my case, it was a misunderstanding of what my “social sciences” were. I needed three classes, and wound up taking two separate ones that only counted for one of the three.  Just make sure that you’re taking the right classes for your credits.  It won’t do you any good to learn that they didn’t count towards your major a year or two after you took them.

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Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes is a senior at Benedictine University, with a double major in Writing & Publishing and Theology. She spends her free time working on Benedictine’s newspaper, The Candor, as well as being a member of Daughters of Isabella, Students for Life, and helping around University Ministry. Any other extra time is filled with reading, writing, cooking, video editing, biking or walking around the lake.