In the second installment of a three-part series, our summer intern Celia shares her insights and expertise to help you build your best course schedule.
What’s Your Study Style?
Last week, I talked about the specific classes you’re taking and how those might impact your how many credits to take in a semester. Classes are an important factor, but they’re not the only factor. I know from experience how your habits and personal preferences can affect your grades, so consider the following when determining your course load:
What kind of student are you?
It’s important to structure your schedule based on your personal preferences and needs. When you’re planning out your semester, make sure to set yourself up for success by knowing your limits and understanding how you learn best. Think about how your previous semester went and consider which study habits worked and which ones didn't - use that experience to determine if you can handle more credit hours or if you should cut back.
How disciplined are you?
Taking six or more classes is going to require organization and focus. If classes are your top priority, attend regularly, pay attention, and take notes, because this will save you time and effort in the long run. To keep up with the amount of work, you’ll have to plan ahead, look at your syllabus, and begin assignments well in advance so you aren’t panicking when midterms roll around. If you’re the type of student who sits in the back of the lecture hall so you can shop online or waits until the night before an assignment is due to read the requirements, you might want to stick to 15 credits. Don’t stress yourself out, enjoy your classes, and make sure you’re actually learning.
What are your priorities?
Maintaining good grades in so many courses will take time. Are you the kind of student who cares about getting extra sleep and having down time? Is your social life is an important part of your college experience? Do you like spending a couple hours every day working out? Whatever it is, you’ll find you don’t have time for everything. I’m not saying studying will consume your life (it shouldn’t) but you’ll have to commit, which means other priorities will take a backseat. Know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up choosing between your roommate’s 21st birthday party and a passing grade on your marketing exam.
Remember, it’s important to understand yourself and what you need to be successful. If you want to take extra classes and are devoted to learning all you can while in college: go for it. But if you need that extra time and space, don’t feel pressured to load on more than you can handle. And if you have other obligations outside of class, check out the final part in this series where I’ll outline how to balance multiple responsibilities!
Celia M. is our marketing intern and a senior at Miami University. She is double majoring in creative and professional writing with minors in interactive media studies and disability studies. After graduation, she hopes to move to the city and begin her career in the publishing industry.
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