Creating an effective schedule can be one of the most important aspects of college. A bad schedule can unnecessarily drain you of your energy and motivation, take time away from what could be used for accomplishing homework and studying, which in turn can create undue amounts of stress. What makes a good schedule? Is it filling it chock full of courses in order to get them done as fast as possible? Or do you want a schedule that allows you to work as much so you can have the money you need for college? Or would you prefer a spread out schedule that gives you time to prepare for classes during the day?
There are a few items you should evaluate before you begin to create a schedule.
- Are you a morning person or a night person? Be sure to seriously consider this. Even if you feel motivated ahead of time to change your work habits, try your best to avoid putting yourself outside your element. Scheduling classes too early if you are a night person will make you prone to missing classes. If you are a morning person and have night courses, you may not have the energy or the focus at the end of the day to deal with another class. Again place yourself in your element.
- Do you need to work? Having money can really take a load of stress off your shoulders, and some of you may not have a choice in how much you need to work to cover bills, but consider these factors. If you can cut back on hours, even if it means cutting back on going out to eat or incurring other optional expenses, do. Conserving your money to give yourself more time to study will prove beneficial. Also, see if you can do some homework at work. Some of you with desk jobs may find this something that you could do. If you do find yourself with money problems, make sure to go to an advisor to find out if there may be any forms of tuition assistance you could benefit from.
- How disciplined are you and how are your study skills? Are you prone to procrastination or do you need extra time to study for a particular course? Maybe one of your courses could be incredibly difficult this semester and will require extra study time. If so, make sure your schedule gives you a good chunk of time where you can go to some place to study or get homework done. If you commute a good distance, consider trying to get this chunk in the middle of the day. That way you aren’t tempted to go home and then find out once you are there you don’t feel like going back. Those who live on campus need to avoid returning to your dorm or apartment. Having a schedule spread out over the day may keep you on campus longer.
- What kind of courses are you taking and how much work will they require? Are you taking 18 or 19 credit hours? Consider stepping back on the hours you take. College is not a race. It’s about doing it and doing it right. Your GPA could suffer if you take too many hours. Also if you have too few hours, you are more likely to goof off. Find the right balance for you.
- Take advantage of the scheduling website. See the topic Using Schedulizer. This is a site that can help you create your own schedule.
Once you have considered all of the above, begin planning a schedule and see your professor. Do not be afraid to do your own legwork on researching classes through myedu.com. Even though they have experence doing these schedules, only you can really find out what will work best for you.