When the semester ends, most of us hope to shut down our brains and avoid thinking about classes until September. But every year halfway through summer break course enrollment comes along, and we’re forced to ponder the coming year.
The course enrollment period is one of the many challenges students face in university. No longer are our timetables handed to us on a shiny platter, mishaps solved by administration. Instead, we must understand our program requirements, choose courses according to academic value, and on the day of enrollment dive in with the precision of a hawk to click “enroll” and ensure we get into the course.
Amidst the chaos, an important factor can be overlooked: creating a course schedule that doesn’t result in an overwhelming amount of work.Keep reading for three tips on how to create a strategic timetable.
1. Start Early
While universities may offer a copious amount of courses, many of them also provide platforms such as timetable planners and degree explorers for students to lay out their semesters and avoid course conflicts. Too often do we leave this step to the last minute causing a scramble to enroll in classes before the deadline.
The result? They’re unable to incorporate all factors to create a rounded timetable.
It’s vital to plan early. Make use of your school’s resources. Thoroughly examine your program’s requirements, look through the courses being offered, and spend time creating a mock timetable. That way, you’re confident in your choices and need only hit “enroll” when the time comes.
2. Include Time to Eat
Diet is one of the first things to suffer when we start university, but would you believe that some simple changes to your timetable can help you avoid the Freshman 15? Students tend to forget the importance of sticking to regular meal times, particularly when coming out of high school, where lunch periods are set in stone. Irregular eating habits can lead to weight gain, nutrition imbalances, and fatigue.
When creating a timetable, ensure you make time to grab some food. Rather than rushing through all your classes and binge eating afterwards, it’s better to enroll in a later tutorial and give yourself an hour to eat. You can also use these gaps as study time or as a mental break.
3. Sacrifice and Compromise
At this point, you’re probably thinking that these tips sound rather obvious, if only your courses would allow you the freedom to utilize them. The truth is, no timetable will ever be perfect. Heavy schedules are a part of the post-secondary experience, and that has to be accepted. However, your mental health and wellbeing are equally important, and it’s fine to take easier courses as electives, or take compulsory courses in summer school if a lighter schedule will lessen the strain on you and heighten your academic performance.
Overall, post-secondary education is meant to give you a preview of an “adult life”. You may think that with graduation comes freedom to control your schedule, but that is not always the case. Work as well as other commitments usually dictate your new schedule, so getting used to being busy is never a bad thing. In fact, seeing how productive you can be in a day is very empowering! So remember to keep busy, but try not to overwork yourself at the same time. We hope this article helps you achieve that healthy balance.