College Classes: Creating Your Schedule

Back in June when I was creating my first semester class schedule at orientation, I didn’t really know what I was doing. My goal was to pick classes I thought I would enjoy and hope it all worked out in the end.

And, somehow it did.

However, I took a far different approach when it came to scheduling my second semester classes. Even though it’s my first year on Iowa’s campus, I’m a sophomore based on credit, so I plan on graduating in three years. While scheduling classes for next semester, I tried to include as many SRM (Sport and Recreation Management) and JMC (Journalism and Mass Communication) classes as I could in order to stay on track for both majors.

Here are a seven tips based on how I scheduled my classes:

1. Map out your (future) class schedules

You definitely don’t have to do this, but I’m the kind of person who loves to plan ahead.

A few weeks prior to picking second semester classes, I decided to make an excel document where I map out all of my future class schedules. The document includes a list of all the classes I need/want to take and the years that I should take them in order to graduate in three years, and a few other important details.

My plan will probably change, but it’s nice to have something to fall back on.

2. Maintain a balance

First semester, I had four classes (12 semester hours) because I was easing myself in to college. Second semester, I’m going to have six classes (18 semester hours, which is a full load).

If you can, I suggest taking a full load of classes as long as you maintain a balance. Try not to schedule all of your hard classes in one semester.

3. Make sure you have time for homework (or online classes)

I am taking one online class next semester for my SRM major. I made sure to make time in my schedule to work on homework for that class. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I don’t have class until late afternoon, which gives me plenty of time to focus on my online class. The last thing I want to do is fall behind.

4. Take your personality into account

During first semester, I confirmed that I am not a morning person unless I have something to really motivate me to get up. When I had to go to work and film football practice, I was able to wake up just fine. However, when I had a lecture before 10 a.m., I struggled to get out of bed because I knew no one would notice if I missed class.

I took that into account when scheduling my second semester classes.

5. Make time to eat

One of my biggest concerns was making sure I have time to eat lunch. I wanted to avoid having back-to-back-to-back classes during lunch hours.

6. Look at a campus map

I’d rather not have to run all the way across campus in 10 minutes to get to my next class.

7. Talk to your advisor

It’s possible that talking to your advisor is the most important part of scheduling college classes. Your advisor is there to advise you for a reason. They aren’t going to enroll in classes for you, but they will give you advice and lead you in the right direction. Use their knowledge to your advantage.

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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