How to Fill Long Gaps in Between Classes

College class schedules are very different from high school schedules mainly because there are no set “periods” where everyone is in class at the exact same time. College gives you the freedom to choose what classes you want to take every quarter or semester and when you want to take them, as long you choose out of the class times your school is offering. If your classes will allow it, you can arrange your schedule so that all your classes start early in the morning and finish by noon, or place all your classes late in the afternoon and into the night if you prefer to sleep in.

For this reason, there is a very slight chance that your unique class schedule will match up to any of your friends’ schedules, or anyone’s at all.

Since there are no set periods for when classes have to run, the liberty of independent scheduling might leave some people at a disadvantage with large blocks of time in between their classes. Some courses are only offered at certain times and days, and it is not uncommon to have class in the morning and not have another class until late afternoon or night time.

Most people can expect to experience this problem while they are in college, predominantly during freshmen year since freshmen have the latest pass times out of the entire school for choosing classes. But you might encounter this problem as an upperclassman as well, because a lot of the time, your classes will not fit together like a puzzle piece and match up perfectly one right after the other.

If you ever find yourself with those unwanted odd gaps between your classes that are too short to justify going home in between and too long to just sit on campus and wait, here are some more productive ways to spend your time.

1). Schedule Lunch Dates or Grab Food

The free time you have in between classes is the best time to grab a meal and replenish your body. You probably do not want to wait until all your classes are over before heading home to eat. Most college campuses provide a plenty of diverse food options that are within easy reach and affordable to students.

It would also be a good idea to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, by getting lunch with a friend during this time. It is nice to have some company during a meal, and you can easily and casually catch up with people by asking them to lunch on campus.

If your awkward gaps occur at times where you have already eaten, getting a cup of coffee from a local Starbucks or your on-campus coffee house is a fitting alternative. Caffeine is the perfect pick-me-up for an extra boost of energy while you are gearing up for your next class.

Buying food on campus is definitely not the only option though. You can pack a bag lunch or some snacks from home and have them ready to eat whenever and wherever you want on campus. And if your gap is long enough, venturing to a café or restaurant a little off-campus is another decent possibility.

2). Meet Friends

After moving out of the dorms and into off-campus apartments, seeing all of your friends regularly can get a little more difficult. But luckily, these large gaps of time sandwiched by your classes provide you the perfect opportunity to get some socializing done. Hit up friends who don’t have anything going on during your breaks, and use the good company to lift your spirits after sitting in class for a while. After all, campus is the most convenient place to see people!

Seeing your friends in between classes can also give you something to look forward to in your school day. The best thing to do is to find friends who have the exact same time gap as you do and meet up with them every time you have that same break. Find a good spot to meet and make it a routine occasion. This way, you’ll never be lonely during those long gaps and you do not have to repeatedly invite people to hang out.

3). Study or Get Work Done

The arguably most productive way to spend your time in between classes is to do your homework or study. This is not, by any means, the most exciting way to spend your free time, especially when you have just finished a class and still have more class waiting for you, but would be a smart way to relieve yourself of some homework or studying for when you finally get home. It would be particularly wise to get some homework done for a class right after you just got out of lecture, so the material would be fresh in your mind, or to study for a class right before going into that lecture, especially on days where there is a test or a midterm scheduled.

Just head over to one of the libraries on campus during your break and find a desk and create a study space for yourself. Aside from the library, your school might also provide other study areas, such as a twenty-four hour study room, that you can utilize for your benefit.

4). Exercise

Another productive way of filling in your time is to exercise during your breaks. You can plan ahead by wearing work-out clothes straight to class, or you can pack a bag and head over to the gym and change after class. Most schools will have a nice gym available on campus, free for student use.

Your campus gym may or may not have showers in the locker rooms, so you might want to consider exercising on your own time if you have to sit through another lecture without showering after working out.

5). Nap

If you have no problem or shame sleeping in public places, then napping is a great way to pass the time. A lot of college campuses now have designated places and areas for people to rest their eyes. If your school does not provide a napping zone, you could always find a patch of grass on your campus quad and sprawl out in the sun. If you want more peace and quiet, go to the library or student center and find a desk to lay your head down on. Finding a desk with blinders will also allow you some privacy as you get some shut-eye. Take caution that there are people studying in the library, so it may not be the best place to go if you are a noisy sleeper.

If you choose to nap during your breaks in between classes, just remember to wake up for your next class! Set an alarm on your phone to go off a ten or twenty minutes before your class starts, just to be safe. In order to avoid disturbing other people, you should bring earphones to plug into your phone and wear while you sleep. That way when the alarm goes off, you are the only one who will hear it.

And when you get to your next class, you will be recharged and ready to tackle the course material!

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Ashley Yang

Ashley Yang

Ashley Yang will be entering her junior year at the University of California, Davis in the fall, where she is pursuing a double major in Economics and Communication. Outside of class, she loves to see her friends and family, jam out to T-Swift, make smoothies, and curl up and unwind with a relaxing book. Other interests of hers include ballet and gymnastics, skiing, travel, volunteer work, chick-flick movies, animals, and Christmas.
Ashley Yang

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