A Procrastinator’s Guide to Making the Perfect Spring Semester Schedule

Strange to admit here, but I love the time in the semester when registration for classes rolls around.  That means the current semester is about half way done and we get to look forward to next semester’s classes!  On the slight chance that you’re unlike me and hate figuring out your schedule for the upcoming season, I’ve broken down the method I always use when figuring out the puzzle that is class registration.


  1. What Required Classes Do I Have Left To Take?

If you log into your MaineStreet account, under the “Degree Progress Report” tab you are able to see a breakdown of what is required of you in order to graduate.  This can show you mandatory classes for your major that you have yet to take, Gen Eds that you may have missed, as well as how many credit hours you still need.  I always prioritize the mandatory classes that I need over any other class of interest I would like to take.  Getting the classes you have to take over and done with allows you to have a freer schedule as an upperclassman.


  1. What Have I Heard Of These Professors?

A good professor can make or break your grade for a class.  I don’t mean you should look for easy professors to take classes with, I mean you should look for professors that will make the work load less daunting.  Working hard for a class always feels worthwhile if it’s for a professor that you respect and want to produce quality work for.  But I mean, if you can find a professor with a reputation for being easy that’s good too.  Ask your friends, people in the same major as you, RAs, members of organizations you’re a part of- literally anyone you can find, ask their opinion and take their word into account.


  1. How Do I Choose Which Section To Take?

It’s helpful to look at making your schedule like a puzzle with a few limiting factors.  When are you most productive?  Are you the kind of person that needs four cups of coffee to get out of bed before noon, or does your brain shut off at 3:00 like mine?  Take into account your body’s peak times of productivity and select class times that are compatible with your body’s schedule.  Then I always choose the section with the professor that has the best reputation among the people I’ve spoken to.  A great professor can make a hard class so much more doable, especially if you have to take a mandatory class that’s during your daily naptime.


  1. What Next?

Once you’ve selected the courses that you need to get out of the way, the fun part comes in.  Take classes that you’re interested in, classes that you’ve heard great things about, classes that are going to be useful for your future career.  It’s nice to take classes with your roommates and friends, but don’t just take what they are because you don’t want to sit alone in a lecture hall.  These classes are an investment made by you, take classes that you will benefit from and be excited to get out of bed for.  Look on the UMaine “Course Catalog” and research classes that seem of interest to you.  This is a great resource that gives insight into what each class at the university entails.


  1. Look At The Big Picture

After you’ve made what seems to be the best Wish List possible, look at the bigger picture.  Take a sheet of paper, divide it into the five days of the school week, and block out the times that you would be in class if that is your schedule.  Do you have time to go to the gym each day?  Are you taking enough credit hours?  When can you see yourself going to the library?  Does this schedule align with a job or other commitment you have on your plate as well?  We all have so many other things going on in our lives besides school, it’s important to take these things into account when selecting your classes.


  1. Use. The. Validate. Button.

My biggest and most helpful hint when selecting your Wish List before enrolling in classes is to validate your list.  This means selecting the boxes next to each class and then pressing “Validate”.  This will bring you to a screen that will tell you whether you are eligible to enroll in the class or not depending on your academic standing, previous classes you’ve taken, or your permission from the professor.  There is nothing worse than creating an entire schedule to find out at the last minute when you’re in the midst of enrolling that you don’t have the prerequisites to take three classes you were wicked excited about.  Check before you enroll. Validate. Validate. Validate.


I hope these hints and tips were helpful.  If you read through this and are still lost and confused, meet with your advisor or ask a friend to help you that’s an upperclassman.  Enrollment can be confusing and one bad semester has the potential to set you back in your credit hours.  Take the time to think about your schedule logically and account for time that you need for yourself as well.


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