In preparation for the spring semester, there’s a few things somebody will need to keep in mind in order to both do well and not die from the stress. In college, every semester is going to come with its own challenges, so its important to learn from the past and look at your own capabilities when signing up for classes and the like.
As always, the two things I always do when signing up for classes is to find classes I’ll enjoy that line up with my schedule. Ratemyprofessors is a great source that helps identify good from bad teachers. I won’t sign up for a course unless the professor scores over a 4/5 on this scale. It’s a great way to avoid getting into a bad class. (This does often narrow down the eligible classes when signing up, so if you don’t have a very open schedule, you’ll have to way the stress of taking bad classes versus completing the courses you need in a timely manner.)
When signing up for these classes, you also have to look at the schedule you’re building for yourself and other things you might need to do that day. If you’re taking over three classes, you’ll need to give yourself a lunch break, and only sign up for classes you’ll be mentally prepared to take. (Taking six classes with the first starting at 8am doesn’t work. High school is not college!) On top of all that: ask yourself this: do you have a time slot to do homework or study? If you need to do things every day, like go to the gym (or write a blog post!), when can you fit that in?
For last fall semester, I didn’t give myself proper time gaps in my schedule, so I was under a lot of stress. If you can’t breathe because you’ll be so busy on certain days, maybe you should drop a class or two. Don’t be afraid to give yourself time to relax (that goes for all aspects in life), so know your limits. That part, unfortunately, mostly comes from experience.
And I’ll always bring this up because its a lifesaver and every college student should be aware of this: Thriftbooks. Imagine buying all your books online for a fraction of the cost, and I’m not just referring to textbooks here. I bought seven books last semester for around thirty-eight bucks. This isn’t a marketing scheme or anything: its just amazing. They don’t sell new books, so you probably won’t find the newest edition of a title on it, but in all honesty I don’t bother buying the newest edition of a textbook just because a professor tells me I have to. Older versions have always worked out okay for me. It’s a bit extra work for far, far less money, and I’d highly recommend it.
Also, after having been in college for a few semesters now, I can tell you you’ll save time buying your pens, binders, whatever before school actually starts. You’ll always need the same things, so you might as well buy it before everyone else starts rushing to buy their stuff!
2 thoughts on “Life — Spring Semester Plans”
DeVry of West Hills was pretty small, so each semester was mostly “these are the classes you are taking.” I felt I had very little control over that. I did have some, especially since a big screw up somewhere in scheduling left me a class sort, in addition to having an extremely mixed “morning vs afternoon” classes structure (meaning, if you were a CIS student, most classes you needed were morning *or* afternoon, depending on your current year; I somehow found myself split across both at some point).
Also gave me very little use out of a tool like RateMyProfessor, since if I needed a class, I needed the class, end of story. Though I do wish I had access to that ThriftBooks site! That sort of thing is exactly what every college student needs.
Yeah, unfortunately my knowledge on this front is limited to that of community college, which is obviously very different, but hey, I’ll talk about what I know!