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Schedule a successful summer

By Amber Lingerfelt

Happy Summer, everyone!

School is out and you’re spending your days making money at your job, lounging by the pool, reading books, or getting tan.  Outside is warm, inside is cool, and the last thing on your mind is a classroom.  Desks, chairs, and textbooks are in your future, though, and you want to make sure you pick good classes!  So what are some good ways to ensure the best schedule?

Going into your Advising session during Orientation is a bit overwhelming.  You walk in to meet an intimidatingly intelligent professor from your department and three words into the conversation, you think to yourself “I want my mom.”  But don’t worry!  The professor is smiling, and you’re in good hands.  Here are a few tips to help:

Tip 1: Ask for the classes you want! Most advisors are prepared with a pre-planned schedule that works well for a first-year in your major, but if you have decided to add a minor (shout out to my Spanish minor) or you know you can’t face a math class your first semester, speak up!  Ultimately, the advisors want you to go home happy and excited for your fall schedule.

Tip 2: BALANCE! As someone who juggles Education, Spanish, English, and general classes, I make it a priority to balance out my schedule.  Schedule yourself for one class in each of your categories to spread the wealth and limit double-booking.

Tip 3: Avoid scheduling an 8am class.  For some reason in college it’s just 10 times harder to get up for that 8am.  (It probably has something to do with going to sleep four hours ago.)  You’re adjusting to a new lifestyle this first semester, so give yourself the opportunity to do well.  Trust me, your dreaded but unavoidable 8am class is coming (I’ve had 4), so you will do your time.

Tip 4: Know your work load! You’re an intelligent and capable human being (you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t) but classes at a university move faster and cover a greater quantity as well as a greater depth of material than classes in high school did.  Play it safe your first semester and don’t schedule yourself into any advanced courses if you don’t have to.  Stick with half/half this first go around.  Schedule half of your hours with more challenging classes and the other half with less demanding classes.

Tip 5:  I advise 15 hours for your first semester.  This allows room for you to drop a class at the beginning of the coming semester without losing your full-time student status, to add a class if you’re feeling confident in your schedule, or to keep a well-balanced schedule.

Bonus tip: A couple of semesters into your time at TWU, sit down with your advising checksheet and plan out what classes you will need for the remainder of your semesters.  Pay attention to what classes are only offered in the Fall or Spring.  You will likely have to double up on subject classes (for example, taking two literature courses each semester), and you want to avoid having to triple up.  This gives peace of mind and helps your advisor not have to play the great puzzle board of your schedule so much every semester.

I hope this helps you when making decisions about your schedule.  And if you get buyer’s remorse and go home worried about what you’ve scheduled yourself for, don’t worry!  Email your advisor and express your concerns, and he/she will work with you.  Remember, the staff and faculty at TWU want you to do well in your education, and they will do what they can to help aid your success!