The fall semester is flying by and before you know it, we’ll be signing up for spring courses. Maybe this semester you loved your schedule and want to stick with the general lay out you made of your time slots for classes. Maybe you hated your schedule because of the time slots– you signed up for too many 8 a.m.’s, or maybe you slept in too long every day because your first class was at 1 p.m.!

No matter how you feel about your schedule, this article will go through helpful insights and things to consider when making your spring and other future schedules.

Everyone is different so your scheduling preference will depend on what type of person you are. Maybe you didn’t taken certain aspects into consideration when initially choosing your classes. For example, it would probably be useful to get an idea of the course through friends, your advisor, or general knowledge you have about the course so you can identify what type of work you will be doing.

Looking at a paper for a class. pc: Nathan Hare

Take English class for example. In English, you will most likely be writing a plethora of essays and research papers. If you choose to take English next semester, you might want to pick only one other class where you would find yourself mainly writing essays as the course workload. By doing that, you don’t run the risk of being overwhelmed by the copious amounts of writing assignments you have each week from five writing-heavy classes.

Another factor to consider is your skill level in a particular subject. If you struggle greatly with math and have to fulfill the math requirement this upcoming semester, you may want to consider balancing your schedule with a course that you excel in or find easier instead of choosing four other very difficult courses.

This may seem obvious to some, but many people end up overwhelming themselves by trying to take as many difficult courses at once so they can get them out of the way for the future. This lack of balance can take away from your education in the courses as well as your success grade-wise.

Have you ever tried both types of schedules? By “both types” we mean that you can either have a very balanced schedule, where you only have two or three classes each week day, or you could have all of your classes jam packed into Tuesdays and Thursdays or only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays so that you can have days completely off from any classes. There are pros and cons to each of these types of schedules, and going through the pros and cons of each type can help you know what is best for you.

looking at their opinions. pc: Nathan Hare

A pro of having a balanced schedule is that it can keep you productive throughout the day, given that you are responsible and go to each class. You are less likely to have assignments from each course due on the same day. Lastly, you are more likely to have breaks in your individual days or if you schedule is back to back, you can have a lot of time before classes or you can end your day early and have the rest of the day to work and relax as you see fit. The con of having a schedule that is balanced is that you will not have a three day weekend nor will you have a weekday that is free of classes.

A pro of having two or three weekdays where it is full of classes is that you will have days off to spend as you please, and you may be able to partake in a “Thirsty Thursday” and a three day weekend. However, you have to ask yourself if you have the motivation to manage your time and work on those off days. You also have to accept the possibility of having multiple exams and assignments for the same day, which can be very stressful.

Self awareness is vital when building your schedule. It’s crucial to ask yourself questions and answer honestly:

  • “Am I a morning person, or should I really start my day later?”  (read this article and take the quiz to find out!)
  • “Could I sit through a three hour evening class once a week?”
  • “Would I like having all of my classes back to back or would I prefer them spread out throughout the day?”
  • “Can I really handle this challenge? Or should I lighten up my schedule?”
  • “Are these too many easy classes for one semester?”
  • “Am I leaving enough time for work and extra curriculars?”

Preparing in advance for your pick time is also a way to set yourself up for a successful semester. Building your ideal schedule in advance and having a backup plan in case your classes are full can decrease your amount of stress. Searching through the course catalog is very helpful, as well as checking out the GEP requirements so you can check those off your list. You can search for those courses specifically on the website using the instructions provided by SJU.

There are many factors to consider, and if it gets to be overwhelming, don’t forget to ask friends, upperclassmen, and especially advisors for help and information about certain classes and what schedules they suggest. The advice and opinions from others can bring new perspectives that will help you know what is best for you.

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