Aatina Shaikh

With April being here, everyone’s inboxes are filled with emails about scheduling Summer and Fall 2023 courses. If you’re like me, you wait until the last minute to decide on your classes. It can be a hassle trying to figure out what courses are best for you, especially if you’re indecisive. 

Here are a few essential tips to make planning classes a breeze!

1. The Not So Mystery Mouseketool

USE RATE MY PROFESSOR!!! I will scream this off the top of rooftops until people become accustomed to it. You know how when you watched Mickey Mouse, they’d leave the mystery mouseketool generally until the end and it ended up being incredibly useful? That’s what Rate My Professor is for college students. I know too many people who just wing it and pick a professor, but it’s crucial to find professors that teach in a way that you will thrive. Personally, I have a specific learning method that works best for me, so I search for professors with reviews that seem to match it. If a professor has no reviews, you are more than welcome to take a shot, but it may be safer to err on the side of caution if you want a guarantee that the class is right for you. 

2. Timing is Everything

“Better late than never.” Sure it could apply here, but don’t try to use it in this situation. Before you start anything, figure out when your course enrollment dates and times are. Too often, I hear that people weren’t even aware of when course scheduling opened up, so they missed the opportunity to have a better chance at getting the classes they want. If you’re an underclassman, it’s crucial that you’re aware of your date and time because you are at the lowest priority (as harsh as that sounds). You can’t waste time allowing others to take the courses you want. If you feel you may forget, jot it into your planner, or set an alarm for that day—or better yet— do both. 

3. The Map and Compass of Course Scheduling

Find your major map (AKA degree plan/academic requirements) to have in front of you to reference. A major map should have a general plan for all four years of classes that a person in your major should take. Keep in mind, it’s okay to not follow it to a T. It’s just a helpful guideline. I suggest screenshotting or printing out the map and crossing off courses you have received credit for. If you are unsure where to find this, simply Google your major, academic map, and your institution name. If this method fails, email an adviser and they should have your major map on hand! For my sisters with anxiety, please don’t feel like you are bugging them. Don’t hesitate to email them whenever you need help because that’s exactly what they are there for. 

4. Optional *but highly recommended*: Adviser Meeting

 Schedule a meeting with an adviser to double-check that the courses you plan to enroll in are what works best for your degree plan. Even if it’s simply a virtual visit, having them skim over your courses can help reassure you that you are on the right path. It also gives you the ability to receive critique in case there may be a possible issue or recommendation they have for you that would improve your plan! 

Scheduling your courses can be a hassle, especially when you’re picky about the classes you take, the professors, or anything else. Try to either block out a time to dedicate to researching courses and professors, or space out your research times to make it easier to digest. It can be scary to have to plan so far ahead, but you’ve got this. The earlier you knock it out, the better you will feel about having it done and out of the way. You won’t have to stress when your enrollment date and time arrive. You just have a couple of buttons to click and you’re done. 

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