Tips for planning semesters

Hello and welcome back to Sigma Nu Zeta Omicron! I hope you are all having a great week.

So this week was registration week and I’m pretty happy with the schedule I got for next semester. As I’ve said before, I’m a morning person so I really like to have all my classes in the morning, which I managed to do. My classes will start at 8:30 and end 12:20. So I will have evenings free to focus on homework, work or just chill. The only exception are Thursdays, those are going to be my busiest day ever since I started my studies here. I will have five classes and a lab. But it is all right because on Tuesdays and Fridays I only have two classes. So it is all pretty balanced.

One thing that really helped me to get this schedule was the new schedule builder that the University made available for students last semester. Before I had to search every single class and draw a schedule table on a paper and try to fit all of it. Now the Schedule builder just do that in seconds, all I had to do was put in the classes I wanted and create some filters for preferred times. Still, there’s only one case in which I would recommend searching for classes the old fashioned-way. The schedule builder is amazing for when you already know the classes you are going to take, but if you are looking for some cool or easy general education courses or electives, the old search box works better. So my suggestion is: just browse through the course pages searching for the courses you are considering taking, without worrying too much about their times. Then, once you decide them, just throw them at the schedule builder to get the best times for you.

I can’t believe I’m already going for my third year here. It’s been so fast that I can remember my first semester like it was yesterday. However, what I found very interesting while thinking back on previous semesters is that I had no class that was just a random pick. That is, I don’t feel like any of the classes I’ve taken don’t fit if each other and my degree. Everything I learn on a class I eventually use on a future class. This just gives me more of a feeling of going through the right path and not making wrong choices. As I think of this, I can’t help but recognize that this wouldn’t be possible without the help of my advisor.

I have to be honest, before coming to college I never really understood what exactly an advisor was. I thought he would be kind of like a parent/mentor, just seeing how you are doing in classes and tell you what you have been doing good and bad. But its real importance is in helping you choose classes. I remember that when I first met my advisor he showed me what I needed to get to the College of Engineering. And I wanted to take chemistry and physics in the same semester as I wanted to get rid of those as soon as possible. He didn’t let me do so and only now I can see how much trouble he saved me. I took both classes in different semesters, and I can for sure say that had I taken both together my grade would be at least a mark down on both, as I wouldn’t have that much time to study for both.

That being said, I think it’s most important to be honest with your advisor. Not only because of UI’s academic honesty code, (which professors can really make you fear), but because he or she can help you choose classes that will aggregate to each other and help you succeed in college. At first I was afraid that my advisor would judge me as a student, mostly because my high school grades and GPA were far from the best. But being honest with him was the first step towards improving.

That’s all I had to say about planning for future semesters. In fact, I think that is all I had to say. See you soon!

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