One of the largest differences between high school and college is the ability to set your own schedule. Having the right schedule is critical to both keeping up your grades and maximizing the time you have for your social life. The overwhelming secret to having the perfect class schedule is to keep it short.
Most colleges students attend around 20 hours of class a week, which is a significant drop from the approximately 30 hours a week that most high schools are open for. However, if you are not careful, you may end up failing to receive any of the benefit this change can offer you. The secret is to get in, get your work done as quickly as possible, and to get on with your day, and it is all dependent on your schedule.
Obviously you want to avoid the early classes, and sleep in whenever possible. While avoiding any classes before nine is not only good for you sanity, but also your grades (hard to pay attention when you are falling asleep), you want to avoid getting carried away with this. Trying to put off all your classes until after noon is a risky strategy because it results in you staying in class longer. You will want to start you day around ten or eleven, and try to be done with all of your classes by four.
The other mistake to avoid is scheduling too many blank spots in your day. While it is usually impossible to avoid completely having a class that ends at one, and nothing until another class that begins at two results in nothing but sixty minutes wasted. The secret is to get in and get out. Taking breaks mid day is not conductive to that result.
Walking/driving back to your dorm/apartment is often not practical when stuck with these short breaks, so when you do do get stuck with them, the best way to use them is to devote this time to studying and completing homework, that way when you are done with school for the day you truly can be done.
Also avoid the temptation to schedule yourself a lunch break. If you are stuck with a break anyhow go ahead and get some lunch, but scheduling a full hour to eat is often not needed, and most teachers won’t mind you bringing some food into class. Find out where it is acceptable, and schedule yourself a lunch mid-lecture.
The classes to truly avoid are the ones after six. While taking night classes can’t always be avoided, taking a class a eight at night can mess up your day far more than a class at eight in the morning. Taking classes after dinner is very inconvenient, and nothing could possibly go more against the idea of keeping your school day short.
Other creative variations of your schedule should also always be considered, such as choosing a day to have no classes at all, to give yourself a midweek break, or a long weekend. Still it’s once again important not to get carried away, and to not try to cram all of your classes into two ten hour days.
Also remember to take in other factors to your schedule as well, such as getting the right teachers, and to take classes along with your friends. Taking a class at eight in the morning can be worth it if you know it will help your grade. Other factors are just as important as the time, but all other things the same the most important thing you can do is to keep your schedule short and simple.
Photo: College Compass