Remember that a professor can really make or break a class, so feel free to relentlessly research who they are and how they teach.
Nothing can ruin a semester like a schedule from hell. Friday classes at 8 a.m., being at the mercy of the most demanding professor on campus, classrooms housed a 40-minute walk from your dorm room – all of these things are suited to rain on your collegiate parade. But never fear: if you follow these five steps, college will start feeling like an extended vacation.
1. Plan ahead.
Laid back types, beware: don’t stumble online 20 minutes after registration starts in order to start casually perusing classes. If you do this, you will end up in Macroeconomics as an English major, and you will spend the entire semester ruing the day you were born. That may sound like a total overstatement, but trust me on this. Macroeconomics is no joke. So, not only should you plan to be online right when registration opens, but you should also…
2. Do your research.
Check out the classes that are being offered, then choose a smattering of options that look interesting and meet your degree’s requirements. Remember that a professor can really make or break a class, so feel free to relentlessly research who they are and how they teach. Consider word of mouth, but also consider using the internet: Google can give you a general sense of who’s who, and websites like RateMyProfessors.com offer student-written reviews about teachers according to school. Moral of the story: it’s totally fine to creep on your professors pre-registration. Just take it down a couple notches once class actually starts.
3. Even out the hard with the easy.
Do your best to take hard classes alongside easier ones. This way, you’ll have ample time to both study and make questionable decisions regarding beer. Also consider taking electives and requirements simultaneously – this will likely give you some variety in subject matter, which will help you from going insane (always a good thing.)
4. Consolidate days and times.
Consider scheduling all your classes in one three or four day chunk; this will make it easy to both travel and be lazy for extended periods of time. Also, try taking classes back to back during the day so that you don’t have to kill too much time at the dining hall overeating and playing Angry Birds on your phone. Oh, and don’t try to fight your body clock, because it will win. The early bird catches the 8 a.m. Social Psychology worm, while the "Mornings Blow" bird shows up to Brit Lit at noon. That’s how the saying goes, right?
5. Don’t be afraid to jump ship once classes start.
If you meet a syllabus that makes you want to poke your eyes out, consider shopping around for a new class. There’s no point in taking something you hate when there are other options available. (Unless, of course, the class is required, in which case I recommend strong coffee and the support of your loved ones. It’s going to be a long semester.)
Now it’s time to embark on the final step: preparing for all your friends to hate you this semester. Don’t worry – they’re just acting out of jealousy.
- Don’t be late to registration.
- Creep on – er, research – potential professors.
- Take a mix of hard and easy classes.
- Give yourself the gift of long weekends.
- Drop a class if you hate it.