By Kelly Schuldt is a freelance writer who loves writing about fashion, beauty, health, and social issues. She is a graduate of Indiana University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, and a minor in Sociology. She loves soy lattes, being in nature, vegan cooking, and online shopping. Kelly resides in southern Indiana with her husband, their labradoodle, and rescued cat.
1) Factor in your sleep schedule. If you aren’t a morning person, don’t think an 8 AM class will work for you. You’re less likely to be alert, if you even make it to class at all. Although it is appealing to get all of your classes out of the way early, it’s not an ideal schedule for everyone. This is why your college offers classes at all times of the day—take advantage of the diversity! Be honest with yourself, and think about when you are the most attentive and ready to learn.
2) Account for travel time. Pull up a campus map when registering to avoid scheduling mistake. Fifteen minutes between classes might seem like plenty of time now, but this is not necessarily true if the buildings are on opposite sides of campus. You don’t want to be sprinting through extreme weather conditions in order to get to an exam on time. Try to make sure your classes are geographically close together so you don’t have to stress if you miss the bus, or need to talk to your professor after class.
3) Don’t be a follower. Although it might seem like a good idea to have the same schedule as a friend, this is not always the case. Maybe your friend takes those two hours between her classes to study at the library. If you are more apt to go back to your dorm to nap during that time, consider scheduling your classes closer together. Some students prefer to only have classes on certain days, while others are more successful when their schedule is stretched out throughout the week. Be realistic and think about what will be best for your productivity.
4) Schedule in meal breaks. When you’re choosing your classes, you might not think about where you will get breakfast or lunch. If you skip this step, you could end up living off of chips and candy bars from the vending machines. We all know that it’s important to make healthy choices, and fuel your body for a day of learning. Don’t spend your time in lectures thinking about your next meal instead of focusing on class material. You will set yourself up for success if you know where the food courts are located, and allow yourself enough time to eat between classes.
5) Not all professors are created equal. Ask upperclassmen in your major for their insight and experience with professors. You might think it doesn’t matter who teaches the course, but remember you will be spending an entire semester with this person! Do they grade finals on a curve? Are they a clear and articulate lecturer? Do they respond to student emails in a timely manner? Inform yourself before you enroll, because the same class taught by two different professors can make for a totally different experience.