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Setting up a Class Schedule that Works for You

Students are not given much time to manipulate their next semester's schedule. Afraid of being locked out of a certain class, many students rush to make sure they get into the classes they want without much thought of the actual schedule they are constructing. It is common for schools to give upperclassmen the first crack at making their schedules to be followed by the underclassmen. Students are typically given a unique window of time when they can log in to the school's scheduling system to make their selections. Make sure you log in as soon as you can as many classes fill up almost immediately.

Before your time arrives to register for classes, make a list of all the courses you are still required to take whether for your major or the core curriculum. As you meet with your academic advisor, you will learn that you do not want to overload your schedule with courses in your major. Sometimes, this is a necessity but avoid it if you can. You want to balance your schedule with electives or other core courses. You advisor will inform you if he or she thinks you are making your schedule too difficult or too easy. Again, you want to find the proper balance. You don't want to put yourself in a position where it's going to be difficult to do well in all your classes because you signed up for too many difficult courses. On the flip side, if you signed up for all easy courses, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Once you have figured out which courses you need to take, you can now start manipulating the times and days of your classes. Underclassmen are at the mercy of their registration times and all the prerequisites they need to take. It is typical for freshman and sophomores to have to take the early morning courses. They are likely to have classes Monday through Friday. However, you can still try to get creative with your schedule. Don't assume that having no classes on Fridays is going to make your life easier. Some students find that having to get up and go to class each day keeps them in a sounder routine. Having three-day weekends each week can put certain people in a position where they have a tough time regaining the proper focus when it's time to go back to class on Monday.

When you begin college, you are bound to hear other students talk about setting up the easiest schedule possible (days without classes, easy courses/professors, etc.). While you don't want to go in the complete opposite directions, you should strive to make a schedule that will best help you succeed.