Setting Up Your Schedule for Next Semester

20 Jun

Welcome Class of 2021!

STAR is a huge step in getting your college career started off. You meet your advisor, and enjoy a few informational sessions, but most importantly you’ll sign up for your first semester of Purdue classes! 1st semester clocktower 22.jpg

Your semester can take shape a lot of different ways depending on how you set your classes up. Things like course difficulty, the times, and how the courses are presented (online, in-person) can all make a huge difference in how your semester goes. So here’s a few things to think about as you’re setting up your first semester of classes:

Coming to college, I never knew that you’re usually only in class for about three or so hours per day depending on your credit load. Even if you spend another three hours a day doing homework or studying like your professors wish, you still probably have more free time than you did in high school. Joining clubs and orgs might eat up your free time quicker than you realize, but you have more choices in how you spend your time than at pretty much any other point in your life.

You may have had classes starting at 7:30 in high school, but if you’re not a morning person definitely look into having your earliest class start a little later in the day. Without having any family members to badger you into waking up, it becomes way too easy to figure you can just catch the lecture online or get the notes from a friend.

If you’re living off campus, you’ll want to try to schedule your classes closely together. On days when the weather doesn’t cooperate (and even days when it does), having to choose between killing two hours on campus versus walking a mile back to your place isn’t a choice you’ll want to make.

Be sure to find time for lunch! Those afternoon classes become a grind if your stomach is rumbling the whole time. Plus, plenty of labs don’t allow food or drink so bringing your own snacks won’t solve the problem. Whether you leave a hole in your schedule or just plan ahead and pack your backpack with some lunch food that you can eat on the go (and doesn’t mind being squished), just having a lunch plan in your routine helps.

Online classes are sometimes thought of as an easy way to get some classes in without having the same time commitment. Unfortunately, if you’re thinking that way you’ll probably get a surprise you don’t like. Online classes often have a lot of busy work and online discussion so the professor knows you’re engaged with the class and comprehending. While they are much more flexible time-wise, they usually take up more free time than an in-person course.

Finally, what to do the rest of the day when you’re not in class? Even if you’re sleeping a mythical 12 hours a night, with three hours of class a day you’ll still have 9 hours remaining that you have your own choice how to spend.

Some students fall into the trap of getting really into Netflix and not a whole lot else. Even the best shows get boring after some time and even for an introvert, just hanging by yourself all the time can become a pretty isolating experience.

This is where clubs and student orgs can fit in. Whether it’s playing a sports club and getting that team bond that you enjoyed from high school sports, joining a professional organization that’s related to your major, something that aligns with your beliefs, or Greek life, there’s tons of great choices. They all want you to join and once you do, you’ll never remember why you had any skepticism about it!

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