By Angel Godfrey | April 17, 2023
Photo credit: GettingSmart.com
As the current semester comes to an end and time is moving closer to graduation, scheduling for next semester is always something to look forward to. Though the task can seem daunting at times, here are some tips for creating an ideal schedule for next semester.
Tip #1: Avoid adding too many classes. This might be tempting to do (especially if you are trying to graduate early) but it is important to pace yourself. The second to last month in a semester tends to be the most crucial and it might get worse for you during finals week. Taking too many classes equals too many exams. Too many exams equals unnecessary anxiety. Four classes is the average amount of classes students take, and I would not recommend taking more than five classes. The stress combined with difficult time management can hurt your performance in the long run. Lessen the load, and remember that summer courses are always available too.
Tip #2: This one is simple: register early. Registration for UAlbany students began on March 22 and ends on April 19. Registering for classes after April 19 will result in a late fee. If you do not register in time, there is a possibility that the most desirable classes will already be filled up. Students will have their registration date based on their class year and credits. Afternoon classes tend to be the most ideal classes for students who like to sleep in, though there are still plenty of morning classes for early risers. Registering early also allows time to add or drop classes, making the process easier to decide which you would like to take.
Tip #3: Balance your schedule. One of the greatest mistakes that students make is adding too many classes at once. Fifteen credits is usually the average amount of credits. That way, you are still on track to graduate on time while making time for yourself and extracurricular activities. Some students might like to stack one class after the next while others prefer to have them spread out. Stacking classes will likely give you extra time to get work done, and spreading classes gives you time to work on assignments in between.
Tip #4: Research your professors. Websites like ratemyprofessor.com give reviews from other students who have previously taken classes with that professor. You will get a broad idea of how your semester will be. Oftentimes, students discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the professor, and whether their teaching style is more rigorous or lenient. Even before the semester starts, you can email your professor and introduce yourself. You might be able to make a connection that will benefit you in the long run, especially if you excel in the class.
Tip #5: Plan your day. It is often debated whether morning or evening classes are better. Morning classes allow students to finish their school work early on in the day, and have the afternoons and evenings free. However, beware of being tempted to skip an 8AM class in favor of sleeping in. If you are a night owl, sleepiness can sneak up on you. If you tend to stay up late, afternoon and evening classes might be the best fit for you. Classes later in the day gives you time to study and complete homework assignments in the morning, or if you have work during the day. Many extracurricular activities and clubs meet during the evening, so make sure to keep that in mind while you are planning your schedule.
You are always allowed to make changes in your schedule. Keep the billing schedule in mind throughout the semester so you are not stuck in a class that you do not want to take. It all depends on your needs.