Creating the Ideal College Schedule
Creating the ideal schedule can be a key factor to your success in university or college. One of the first questions you should ask yourself is whether you should take day classes or night classes. If you consider yourself a “night owl”, you might assume it would be best to take the majority of your classes in the evening when you’re the most alert. However, keep in mind that if you are taking late classes you’re probably going to have to do your homework in the mornings. Be honest with yourself and consider if you’re actually going to wake up on time to get those essays done. Likewise, our early birds need to do some soul-searching and really ask themselves if they’ll make the effort to rise and shine for those 8:00 am classes. One of the biggest challenges that post-secondary students face is going to class when no one is monitoring their attendance. This becomes even more of a challenge when these classes start before the sun even makes an appearance. A good way to overcome this is to find a friend who also shares the misfortune of rising bright and early. The two of you can make a solemn oath to go to class every day and you can serve as encouragement for one another!
Another important question to ask yourself when designing a schedule is whether you want to stack your classes one after another or spread them out across the day. Stacking classes is often viewed as the more efficient practice but it also has its downfalls. Most professors will let you out of class ten minutes early to get to your next one but you’ll always have that one who insists on holding you to the very end, or perhaps even longer. Then you’ll find yourself making a mad dash across campus, which will quickly become an issue if your campus is the size of a small island. In that case, spreading your classes out a bit may sound more attractive. The trouble here is that you may then find yourself facing “The Awkward Hour”. This is a chunk of time that is too short to do anything useful but too long to sit around doing nothing. In other words, it’s a waste of time. If you’re a productive person, you might be able to squeeze in a bit of work but most people just lounge around campus, grab a bite to eat or catch up on the latest chapter of their favourite manga.
If I can leave you with one last piece of advice, it’ll be this: Do not bend yourself backwards for Friday’s off. If you have to inconvenience yourself throughout the rest of the week, the extra day of freedom may not be worth it. At the very least, have a class or two on Friday instead of piling four or five classes on another day.
At the end of the day, designing your schedule comes down to weighing the pros and cons of each factor and deciding what works best for you. Very few people can claim to have a perfect schedule so don’t panic if you find yourself in less than ideal circumstances. Simply do your best to create a schedule that maximize your chances of succeeding!