Students share scheduling advice

Dhriti Tandon

Planning your schedule for the upcoming semester can be tough, but here are some tips from students and an academic advisor to help organize your class schedule.

Balance class content

For a well-rounded and interesting semester, students need to make sure that they do not have all classes of the same kind but take a variety of different subjects.

CAS junior Allison Cai said students should not take more than two classes related to their major.

“According to some of the sample four-year plans that major departments put up … they usually advise to take two major classes, a school-specific requirement and an elective or class for a minor,” Cai said. “I usually take three academically rigorous classes specific to my major and minor and then either an elective or a Core requirement for CAS.”

Understand what works best for you

Depending on one’s sleep schedule, workload and extracurriculars, students should choose classes that allow them to maximize productivity during their free time and ensure adequate sleep.

CAS academic advisor Devon Pryor said he tells students to factor in their study habits.

“I encourage students to be as honest as possible with themselves when they’re mapping out their classes,” Pryor said. “If you trust yourself to take advantage of time between classes and actually be productive, then create that time for yourself; if you know you’re likely going to procrastinate that time away, then maybe try to have your classes back-to-back.”

Know your classes and professors beforehand

One should have a good idea of one’s class prerequisites, content and instructor. Gallatin sophomore Kimberly Wang advises fellow students to have an in-depth knowledge of the classes they will be pursuing.

“Making sure you understand the prerequisites is super important,” Wang said. “Making sure you have a plan of trajectory is also crucial — in other words, know why you’re taking the course. Talking to upperclassmen is also a good idea. Emailing professors for syllabi and more in depth descriptions of the course material is also advisable.”

CAS freshman Sarai Colon suggests that students to utilize Internet reviews for their potential professors.

“Make use of online tools such as Rate My Professors, and read the course descriptions on Albert and departmental websites before deciding upon a class,” Colon said. “Also ask your friends who have already taken the class.”

Have back-up classes

Classes fill up fairly quickly every semester, causing most students to not be able to select their first-choice classes. LS freshman Jeannette Zang highlights the need for a backup class schedule.

“Sometimes a few of those classes may fill out quickly,” Zang said. “A backup class schedule is always advisable instead of stressing out much later near the enrollment deadline date.”

Pryor also suggests keeping an open mind and to be flexible with your schedule.

“Don’t forget that spring registration happens two months before classes actually start,” Pryor said. “You will have time to fiddle around with your classes for quite a while after registration week.”

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 3 print edition. Email Dhriti Tandon at [email protected].