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Personal Preferences

Let’s face it – you won’t always be able to get your ideal schedule.  But, you do have a lot of flexibility and choice in building your schedule in college.  Here are some tips about course selection:

    • Schedule for the amount of credits you know you can do well in.  Aim for 15 credits a semester.  If this is too much, then consider 12-14 credits so that you can be successful.  Note that if you’re on a time schedule, you can take summer classes to keep on track for graduation.

 

    • Schedule a class every day so that you can develop a routine that includes something academic every day of the week.  This can help you avoid burning out with too many classes on only a few days of the week.

 

    • Make sure you have a good balance of classes – challenging, fun, exploratory, required.  Don’t stack one semester full of classes you are not interested in.  Make sure to take something you enjoy each semester.  Speak with your advisor or ASC for suggestions and consider clubs and organizations as something fun you can do to cater to your interests outside the classroom.

 

    • Pay attention to your body clock.  For some classes you won’t have a lot of choice about what time of day you can take the class.  It is up to you to know your body and make sure that you can attend class whatever time it meets.  Know who you are, when you perform best, and when you are most tempted to skip class.  If you don’t like mornings but it’s the only time a class meets, then take that class with a friend who you know is responsible.  If you get distracted in the afternoon, then make sure afternoon classes are closer together (location & time) to alleviate temptation to skip class on nice days.

 

    • Try to register for one small class each semester.  Freshmen seminars, college composition, public speaking, science labs, and health and exercise ("PE") classes are all under 30 people.  Being in a small class helps people connect with others and enjoy the class more.

 

    • Find out what works for you and stick to it.  Would you rather take all of your classes back to back and have longer periods of time to study at the beginning or end of your day?  Or, would you rather spread out your classes and give yourself study breaks in between classes.  Think about how you can maximize your study time when you build your class schedule.  Remember Learning Assistance Programs can work with you to identify your learning style and improve your study skills.

 

  • Consider others’ experiences – but don’t base decisions on it.  Some websites provide student feedback and can be useful tools when trying to decide on a class, but be wary of the feedback.  Filter through the personal comments about the professors.  Instead, look for clues as to the professor’s teaching style, grading methods, etc. and see how that will match up with your preferences and learning style.  Ask your advisor  or ASC about any website resources he or she might recommend.
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