Your first year at college can be daunting and a little confusing as you try to grapple with a whole new way of doing things. One of the many things you will have to learn is how to structure and schedule your own classes. You have to be careful not to cram too much into some days while leaving little or no classes for other others. The key is to strike the right balance between classes and free time.
These few tips will help you with structuring your classes for your first semester of college.
Knock Out General Requirements Now
Everyone has to take them, so you may as well take them now. This is where you’ve heard that ugly rumor that sometimes college is a lot like high school all over again, especially your first freshman semester. If it’s a course that you only did okay with in high school, now might be the perfect opportunity to get it as a general requirement and get it out of the way. Once you’re finished with gen eds, you can focus entirely on your majors and/or minors.
Take a Class That Sparks Your Interest
Your freshman year is the perfect time to try and take a course that you are truly interested in. Always wanted to learn how to make clay pottery? Sign up! Interested in paleontology but don’t necessarily want to major in it? Give it a shot. Elective courses that spark your interest are a great way to burn off a little pent-up energy as well as provide a creative outlet and quench your curiosity thirst.
With so many activities and clubs to choose from, it can be tempting to join in everything you can. While there is no rule stopping you from participating in any activity or joining any club you want to, it is advisable to be more selective in your choice of extracurricular activities.
Be sure to schedule in study time, lab time, and library time. You must be careful about leaving enough time to catch up with academics so you won’t feel overwhelmed and your grades won’t slip. Don’t sign up for more than 15 hours of coursework. Your first year in college is a new and challenging experience. Schedule your time wisely.
You Should Still Get Up in the Morning
Classes that begin at 9 or 10 a.m. are hugely popular for a reason. They are not so early that you struggle to get out of bed and they are not so late that you start to get used to an easy schedule. Waking up for your 9 and 10 a.m. classes can be beneficial to your personal sleep schedule.
If you are a diehard night owl you may find afternoon classes work better for you. Unless you simply can’t avoid it, night classes may be a bit intimidating your first semester.
Meet with Your Advisor
Don’t be intimidated by your advisor. Your academic advisor is there to help you not only schedule courses, but also with finding a study group, discussing whether you should change majors, and can tell you which professors may be suitable to your academic needs.
Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!