The Optimal Course Schedule 101

Written by Greg Fast

With the term nearing its end, you’ve surely come to recognize how much of an impact your course schedule can have on both your academic and personal life. In short, your schedule can make or break a semester and I’ve certainly been on both sides of this fence. The good news is, I want to help! Of course program requirements will limit flexibility, but with the proper planning, you can ensure that you will have the ideal schedule. Without further ado, here are my four registration tips that helped me get through my undergrad!

1) A Great Schedule with Uninspiring Courses is not a Victory:

We would all love to have Fridays off, but the day and time of class should never impede you from taking a course your passionate about pursuing. Certainly a course that runs Monday and Wednesday afternoon is ideal, but in the cold of winter it won’t be any easier to leave your pajamas to make it to a lackluster class.

2) Do Not Register for a Course Blindly:

Course descriptions remains pretty static in the calendar and only serve as rough outlines as the syllabus can change with the year and professor. You’ll be spending at least a semester studying the field so make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. English course? Research the authors or time period. Don’t know a technical term or theory? Look it up. Get a good understanding of what you are getting yourself into before you register. There may be no looking back.

3) Be Aware of your Workload & the ‘Bird Course:’

This isn’t so much a suggestion to pick a ‘bird course’ as it is to be aware of your workload and class formats. If your schedule is a combination of lectures, seminars, and labs, don’t overload one day with the same format. This will usually result in all your readings or assignments being due on the same day.

4) Your Professor cane make (or break) a class:

As Brock students, we are pretty blessed with some amazing professors across campus. If you’ve connected with a professor, hold on for dear life! I once hesitantly enrolled in an 18th century literature class. The reading load was the most intense I had encountered and not an area I was particularly interested in. With that being said, it was an extremely enjoyable course because I had a professor who was so enthusiastic and engaging that I ultimately ended up taking two other classes with her in later years.

We have all experienced the pains of logging onto Student Self Serve at midnight to frantically register for courses, only to experience what seems like dial up internet speeds; but the optimal schedule takes preparation and research. Some of these tips may seem like common sense, but it’s easy to lose site of long-term goals in order to avoid morning classes and make the most of University life. Hopefully these tips will help you learn what it took me four years to figure out!



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