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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

Life at college is usually very busy for students. It’s more than attending classes, but also working on homework, studying for exams, participating in clubs and activities and even hanging out with friends! Some students are busy because of their majors, others are busy because they have a leadership position in a club.

A busy schedule can also come with stress, which is why rest is a vital part of our lives. However, considering that many of you have credits to fulfill and courses required for your majors, choosing what courses you need to take and what time is important. I’m in my second year of college right now, so building my schedule is not new to me. As someone who understands the layout of the Pittsburgh campus and is a current chemistry major, I have some tips on building your schedule.

Consider the number of morning/Night classes you can handle

That one might seem obvious, but I had gone through that the hard way. In fact, during my very first semester of college, not only did I take 17 credits, but I also took four 8 AM classes each week. How did I handle that? Well, I just reminded myself that I had to wake up early when I was in high school. Nevertheless, it was a bad choice for me. More morning classes often come with a more unstable sleep schedule.

Like morning classes, you also might need to consider the number of late classes that you can handle. Night classes can be filled with tired students because they want to head home ASAP. In this case, most students might be able to handle around 2-3 night classes at most, but it’s different for everyone. If you don’t think you can handle night classes, that is fine. Most clubs or activities also take place late evening or night, so that is something to also consider if you decide to partake in clubs.

If you think you’re going to have a schedule filled with either morning or night classes, it is best to stick with a schedule with a few morning classes or a schedule with a few night classes.

Know the location, and how long to get from building to building

There are certain people who must walk from Posvar to Chevron and certain people who must walk from Chevron to Posvar—in a span of 10 minutes. If you aren’t familiar with Chevron and Posvar, then you should know that Chevron and Posvar are very far from each other. What might be worse is that most chemistry courses are super crowded, so walking with a crowd when you must head to a class immediately would be a pain. (Trust me, I know).

Knowing the location before making your schedule official is good because of the amount of time that is allotted for studying and heading to a different building. I also make sure to have enough time for meals as well.

Come up with back-up courses

One thing to know about scheduling at Pitt, that I’m pretty sure many of you know, is that seats can fill up very fast. This might be worse for first-year students because freshmen are usually scheduled to pick their courses last. But I would also like to reassure first-year students that as you move up, scheduling can become much better because you get to pick your courses earlier. But even as a second-year student, I also think of some backup courses because Pitt students can be very competitive with taking seats.

By the time it is your turn to schedule your courses, there is a high chance that some courses are filled up to the brink. That is why it is important to look through more than one professor as well as more than one time slot for a course to choose. Also, consider that there will be people reserving seats for a course. You can’t visibly tell that unless you notice a warning, in which case, you need a backup course for that.

Waitlisting is also an option, but there is a limited amount of credit that could be waitlisted. If you decide to waitlist a course ahead of time, it is best to choose to waitlist the one with many seats. I am talking about the ones with a 100 or 200-seat capacity. These kinds of courses would most likely have students drop off during the first week than a course with a small seat capacity limit.

Lastly, I would like to tell you that it is okay if you want to drop out or switch courses during the first few weeks of a semester. I would recommend dropping out or switching courses if you felt like you felt like you have a valid reason to. If you got added to a course you waitlisted though, keep in mind that getting added to a course after the first semester can add assignments you need to do, just like dropping courses can remove assignments you need to do. I would recommend reaching out to the professor or a TA if you think you have trouble keeping up.

I hope this will be helpful for your next semester😊!

Nina Bao

Pitt '26

Hi, guys! My name is Nina Bao, and I am an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh. I am majoring in chemistry with a bioengineering minor plan. My favorite hobbies include dancing, playing the violin, listening to music, watching anime, and playing video games. I am a k-pop fan, but I just especially like listening to girl groups. The kind of music I like are that of the Weeknd, Lana del Ray, or Taylor Swift's. I am also a boba and hotpot fan as well. Some of the topics that I am adept in writing are anything to do with campus life or entertainments. I am also a foodie and a bit of a game addict, but most of the games I played aren't in the beginner-friendly section, just to warn you.