College Scheduling: Leave Room for Life

With advance registration for the spring semester upon us at the University of Florida, most college students are thinking about what classes they should take during Spring 2017. Your first instinct may be to load up on classes; you want to take as many classes as possible so you graduate as soon as possible. I get it. College is expensive, so you want to get out quickly. However, loading up on classes during each semester probably isn’t the ticket to success.

First off, college classes are hard. It’s not like high school where you can take six or seven classes back to back to back and then have enough time for homework and after-school activities. CollegeView says college courses are “more rigorous and demand more of your out-of-class time.” The college information website also says more than 12 credit hours is generally considered “a full load.” If you want to experience academic success, make sure you can balance the number of classes you take with the time it takes to be successful in each one.

But, it’s not just about academic success. It’s about out-of-the-classroom experience—the experience you need to get a job. In some majors, it’s not your GPA that will get you a job; it’s your experience. This is especially true for majors in the College of Journalism and Communications at UF. As a Telecommunication major myself, I am expected to get experience in the newsroom, whether that is behind-the-scenes, in the sports station, as a reporter, etc. So when I schedule my classes, I am always careful to leave time for these extra activities (including internships) because I know how important they are toward getting me a job.

Over the summer, I expected the time to be a perfect opportunity for me to get more involved at the sports station. I was only taking two classes, and there weren’t as many students around, so I anticipated being able to get valuable opportunities in the sports station, especially with football season starting that August.

Unfortunately, I was completely wrong. Though I only took two classes, they were very challenging classes that required plenty of time outside of the classroom toward completing assignments and homework. I never felt as though I had the time to accomplish the things I wanted to accomplish at the sports station, and I even had to drop one of my shifts at the station once it became apparent that the two classes were taking up so much time. Looking back, I feel as though I wasted a valuable opportunity to gain more sports experience because I overscheduled myself. If I had to do it again, I would not have taken those two rigorous classes at the same time; I would have taken just one along with another, easier, class.

I’m not sure if other majors are the same as the college of journalism majors, in that they require so much out-of-classroom experience in order to get students jobs, but if you happen to be in a major that requires that experience, try to be careful with scheduling. Don’t load up on too many classes that will interfere with your ability to get that out-of-classroom or internship experience. And if your major maybe does not require so much experience, still be careful with scheduling. Make sure you are not overextending yourself, and that you have the time to participate in the clubs, sports and/or jobs you want or need to. You don’t want to spend an entire semester feeling overwhelmed. Have fun creating your schedules for spring, ladies!


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