As registration rolls around, college students everywhere are being forced to confront the reality of figuring out their schedules. Although registering for classes itself sounds fairly simple, the process has been known to cause quite a bit of anxiety, and it usually ends up being far more complicated than simply picking a professor and a time slot.
Before you face the inevitable struggle of attempting to make an Excel spreadsheet with all of your potential class choices, head over to MyEdu. The website is customizable so you can search for classes here at Boston College, and it will bring up the different times and professors available, allowing you to compile a schedule based on what works for you. It's a wonder that every student at BC doesn't already know about this website, because it is unbelievably helpful throughout the course registration period. Never underestimate the power of a visual representation of your classes instead of a series of sticky notes on your computer desktop.
When choosing your classes, if possible, make an effort to create a schedule in a manner that will maximize your day-to-day productivity. Of course, if you’re not a morning person, signing up for 8 a.m. classes simply isn’t realistic, but if you are, definitely begin to block out how you will spend your time in the afternoons. It’s easy to procrastinate when everyone else is in class and you’re done for the day, but even looking at the gaps in your schedule and deliberately setting aside that time to do your homework or exercise can make a difference. You don’t need to have every minute of your day scheduled to the last second, but blocking it off in iCal can give you a little bit of accountability for your study time. Those hour-long study blocks will definitely be a lifesaver when co-curriculars get busy during the evening.
Even if you plan your classes so that they don't start until 1 p.m., it's still worth strategically planning out your morning hours. As difficult as it sounds, waking up several hours before you have class can really set the tone for your day to be more productive. And realistically, you can’t afford to lose the prime hours of productivity between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. because you were sleeping, because it’s doubtful that you will compensate for that with a late night study session. Challenge yourself to get up, get breakfast and do something productive--whether that means catching up with your parents on the phone or doing yoga. At the very least, you’ll get bragging rights that you’ve actually been up for several hours.
Organization sounds like a pretty intimidating concept to most college students, but lots of little changes can help you stay focused and on top of things when it comes to academics. If you haven’t invested in a good planner, there will be another round of options available at the bookstore for 2015, so consider giving yourself a fresh start with organization. It’s also very helpful to assign a color for each of your classes, and indicate the assignments and midterms with that color of pen in your planner.
Another thing to consider doing is making a semester spreadsheet with assignments, exams and long-term projects based on the syllabi for your classes, because it is very easy to forget about what’s on there until the professor reminds you the week before. While all of this academic advice is important, you must, above all, be sure to make time for yourself and your relationships. Sleep and meals are not something that should be compromised because of schoolwork, and if you have a handle on your schedule, it’s a lot easier to find out when your friends are free to grab lunch or set aside a time to call home.