ZOOM! WOOSH! KABOOM! These are a few of the feelings I end up getting when it comes to arranging my epic schedule each semester. I have tried a few different approaches to making a good schedule that I can work with but I believe I have found a good balance of how to arrange everything considering how evenly spaced everything is this semester (despite having 8 A.M.'s 4 out of the 5 weekdays). Some things that I like to keep in mind when arranging my schedule are: 1. How many classes do you have on each day? I learned that about 2-3 a day is good for me. I have enough to think about and not a totally overwhelming amount of homework/tests at the same time.
2. Group those classes around the same time. I find that if I keep going for maybe about 3-4 straight, with maybe a 15-30 minute break between classes that I have enough time to prepare for what I am focusing on in each class respectively and with walking around, I can clear my head of the possibility of a bad class or an assignment that I didn't think I did that great on. All the 1-2 hour gaps that I had my freshman year made me even more tired because I wouldn't have enough time to do anything fully productive so I definitely like having classes back to back.
3. Have class in the morning. I know signal the groan. I hate getting up early too but I find that with having your classes grouped in the morning, you end up having so much more time to do stuff later. You can go to work, finish tomorrow's homework, study for a quiz, or just do more extra curricular activities because you don't have any conflicting classes.
4. Think about your work schedule. If you're like me, you have to work to remain afloat in college. My work schedule varies every week (the glories of retail) so I want to make sure they can work me as much as possible to get the most out of my paycheck. This also plays out in having classes in the morning. Having your classes as early as possible will help open up your availability and let your boss schedule you more.
5. ALWAYS think of alternatives. Don't assume that you will get the classes you WANT. Most of the time my advisors know what classes I NEED so I know what classes I need to base my schedules around. So for those few classes, like Gen. Ed.s, it's a little easier to move those around than to move the core classes that might hurt your progress to graduation. Just make sure you have alternatives (types of classes and times) to base your schedule around.
6. (My favorite)Plan ahead. Make sure you know what you need to take and where it will be easiest to fit into your long-term schedule. Make a list or at least keep track of what classes interest you and in what spectrum of studies. If you need humanity credits, see what fits that criteria, whether it be English, classical mythology, or art, and what is the most interesting to you. The more you think you would be interested in taking the classes before hand the more likely you will be looking out for them and able to see when would be a good time to correlate other classes with them.
Just a few thoughts on what I like to keep in mind when I'm looking into the new year/semester. And always remember: This is a new start. Most of the classes you take may or may not build on each other but you start with a new grade, new professors and new criteria. I know some classes are excluded from this, like languages, but for the most part you get to roll over and (excluding GPA) get a new chance to improve. Hope you all enjoyed and find at least something helpful!