Going back to school…

It’s a bittersweet feeling. On one hand, you’re excited to be back on campus. The campus buzzing with energy of freshman experiencing everything for the first time, fraternities/sororities recruiting for rush, parents saying goodbye to their babies, all the organizations/clubs pushing for you to check out their booth. There’s so much stimulation that you can’t help but get excited for the semester to start up again. Meeting new people, taking new classes, moving forward in your educational path.

Then, classes actually start. You’re waking up to take an 8am you really didn’t want but couldn’t avoid. You’re struggling to manage working, school, and having a social life. You want to cram every event possible but there just aren’t that many hours in a day. Instead of conversing with new friends you met during orientation or reuniting with friends you haven’t seen all summer, you’re busy getting a handle of your workload. You’re neurotic about writing everything into your planner because you’re afraid to miss an important date.

Time manageable is the most difficult aspect of college. I think many students would agree. But it’s one of the key to succeed in college.

There are plenty of courses that require a lot of extra studying. But you also want some downtime to just relax without knocking your brain. What do you do?

The first step is to jump on the train when registering for courses. You want the absolute best times. This calls for careful planning. College typically sends an email about courses opening for registration. You should see your counselor immediately.

Get an idea of what classes you need to take, how heavy the course load might be, and what general classes would benefit you in other classes you need to take that semester. (I promise, those gen eds are useful in other classes or even discussions outside of class).

Once you have a list of what classes you need. You need to start looking up classes and professors. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck with a professor that will drone on and on in a lecture. You want a professor that actually wants you to succeed and offers all the resources to make that happen. An engaging professor.

Sure, it’s a ton of work to look like classes, dates, times, professors, even taking the building where the class will be into consideration but it makes planning a ton easier once you obtain that information.

Next is planning out your schedule so that you have sufficient time to do your assignments and study.

Take biology and chemistry for example. Both heavy classes with no doubt endless amounts of work. You want to space out those classes so that you actually have time to prepare for them. I would advise not taking them on the same day (unless there’re just lectures). If you happen to have an exam in both classes, studying for them both to take in one day is extremely difficult.

That’s another thing. Lectures and classrooms. Some majors require a lab. This is where you have a professor lecturing on the topic and another class where you actually apply those lectures. (Happens a lot with science majors).

Once you have a draft of your schedule, I suggest finding a few alternative classes so that if you can’t get into one, you have a backup without going crazy looking for another class in the same subject matter last minute.

Once courses are open to register action, you want to get registered as quick as possible no matter what time they open. Believe me, you’re not the only one sitting at the computer ready to register.

By planning way ahead of time, you leave yourself time once the semester starts to plan your social outings and study days. It’s all about time management in college. You want to be there and really experience college life rather than just going to classes and going home to study. Enjoy all that college has to offer. I hear time flies in a blink of an eye.