Tips For Building Your Class Schedule

Register for your classes early.

As freshmen, you’re already in a tough spot when it comes to registering for your classes. The rest of the university has already registered for all of the good ones with the easy-grading teachers, leaving you only with the scraps. You are going to have to fight for the remaining seats with all of the other freshmen, so do not wait until the last minute to sign up for your classes- it will just make your life extremely stressful. You might not be able to get into some of the classes you are required to take your first semester, but try to knock out some general education courses so you don’t have to waste a semester of tuition. By registering as early as you can, your chances of getting into the classes you want or need are much higher.

If you are not a morning person, do not sign up for morning classes.

This may seem somewhat obvious, but I was one of the people that had to find this out the hard way. “Oh, it’s just twice a week, I can get up at 7:00am two times, surely.” Wrong. Way wrong. With attendance being ignored in most classes you would take your freshman year, if you have trouble getting up in the mornings, you will miss your morning classes more than you should. If the course you need to take is only offered at 8:00am and 12:00pm, but the 12:00pm class is full by the time you get to sign up for it, maybe it would be best if you hold off on this right now and try again next semester. Trust me, your grades will be much better and it will make your life a lot easier.

Don’t have an awkward gap between classes.

This also might seem like a no-brainer. However, when you start to register for classes, you’ll notice that every class does not fit in perfectly with your ideal schedule. For instance, suppose there are three specific classes you want to take.  One might be at 8am and the other two might be at 11 o’clock and 4 o’clock. “That’s not so bad, it is only three classes a day. I’ll just nap in-between if I’m tired or do other work.” That’s wishful thinking.  Maybe you have a ridiculously superb work ethic and maybe you have enough other homework to complete, then that kind of thinking would be realistic, but I’ll tell you what’s more realistic. You’re laying in bed at 7:15 contemplating if you should go to that 8am class where attendance is only 10% of the final grade. You know you should go, but you know that if you do, you’ll be completely exhausted by noon and won’t end up going to your 4 o’clock class because you’re too tired. It’ll come down to which class you want to go to more. With those kind of time gaps, your grade in at least one of those classes will suffer. My advice: Any break between classes should either be shorter than an hour or longer than three hours. It’ll make your academic life much more enjoyable.

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Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb is a senior at the University of Illinois majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She lacks the ability to draw, so she loves being able to express her creativity instead through her writing. She considers herself the “coolest nerd,” spending many Friday nights indoors playing Guitar Hero and discussing Pokemon cards with her friends.