Spacing out your schedule
Unlike high school, you don’t have the same classes every single day. Some classes are two or three times a week, while others are only once a week. Technically, you can organize your schedule so you only have a few school days a week. Translation? You can start your weekend early by going out on Thursday nights or even taking a trip home or to your BFF’s school. While it’s nice to have a couple extra days off, what happens when all your exams are on the same day? While the decision to take days off is ultimately yours, Dean Sabovik says, “We recommend at least one other activity: a part-time job, extracurriculars, or even a recreation class. This is where you can truly get the most out of college and keep yourself productive.” Class-free days that are productive? It’s like having your cake and eating it too.
The time slots and days aren’t the only things to consider when creating your schedule—you can’t forget about the professors. Every collegiette knows that a professor can make or break a class. How do you – a mere college rookie – figure out which professors’ classes you should take and which ones you should drop?
The wonderful world of the web
Everyone knows that the Internet is a treasured tool; however, it’s especially handy when you’re trying to learn about your new professors. There are so many helpful sites to choose from, but here are some of our favorites:
- Rate My Professors [ratemyprofessors.com]: This website gives you an all-access pass into what professors are really like. Students can judge professors based on difficulty, helpfulness, and clarity. To give you a better idea of who’s writing the reviews, each judge is required to rate their interest for the topic.
- College Confidential [collegeconfidential.com]: While you may not find information about specific professors, College Confidential gives you an overview of what you should expect from your alma mater’s teachers in general. You can usually find message boards within your school’s section that recommend professors and classes to take or stay away from. Since this website isn’t strictly geared towards college professors, search the site! Your random pre-collegiette questions may be answered with a click of a button.
Look at their bio
Most college websites have short biographies about their professors. Though their bio won’t tell you if they’re hard graders or helpful at office hours, you can check out how much experience they’ve had. What if their bio isn’t very telling? Find them on LinkedIn! Let’s not forget that their former jobs may help you during the internship search.
Though this move may seem extremely bold, introducing yourself to your future professor will benefit you. “Don’t be scared to reach out to professors,” says Dean Sabovik. “They’re usually happy to provide students with a class syllabus in advance.” Once you find your potential professor’s email (your school’s website should have it listed), quickly email him or her and ask for more information about the class in question. Not only will you get a feel for the class’s curriculum and workload, you’ll also create a healthy professor-student relationship before classes even start!
Creating a schedule is a piece of cake, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes, you may run into a slew of dilemmas. Before you even encounter these problems, we’re giving you the solution! What would you do without us?
A couple weeks after creating your glorious academic agenda, you’re no longer feeling that linguistics class. Are you bound to this class ‘til finals do you part? Not necessarily. Most schools allow you to switch classes up to a certain point in the semester. Just remember that every college differs. “I know a bunch of people who are still unclear about switching and dropping in and out of classes at my school, and it makes the experience more confusing,” says Annie, a junior at the University of Chicago and HC Contributing Writer. For more information about your school’s policy, ask a college advisor or look online.