Student Success Strategy #8: Class Schedules

I earned an F in a college course.

The class was scheduled at 7:30 -9:00 a.m. on two days a week.  Living in the dormitory, my next-door friend and I would get up early, go to breakfast, go back to our rooms, and go back to bed.  She didn’t have a class until 10:00.

I was not a morning person, and the idea of walking about half a mile that early, in Iowa, across a bridge over the Iowa River, was not conducive to attendance.  When it became cold in the late fall, then snowy or icy, the temptation to skip class was just too strong.

College students learn, generally AFTER a tough semester, that their class schedule is more important than they thought.  Early morning classes are deadly for those who are allergic to alarm clocks, and also for those who find that their friends believe social life begins at midnight.

Evening classes are difficult when school events occur at the same time.  Generally, freshmen classes are not scheduled in the late evening, but even the 4:00 start times can create scheduling conflicts.

Are you a morning person?  Do you have an option to take classes on only three or four days of the week?  Will there be time to walk between classes on a large campus (get a campus map!)?  When will you eat?  Do you need to consider public transportation to get to school and back?

If possible, talk to other college students who can tell you about schedules on the campus.  They will give you the horror stories of class schedules, and their recommendations to avoid the conflicts they experienced.  They can also tell you when social events are held, which night is “party night,” and even how final exams are scheduled, if not held during the last class period.

Ask a lot of questions.  Ask at orientation.  Ask an advisor.  Ask other students. Don’t accept a schedule until you see that it will work for you.  You’ll still need to use time management, determination, and great study skills, but a schedule that takes advantage of your preferences will make it easier to get to class EVERY time.

Student Success Strategy #8:  Class scheduling is an important factor in success.  Create the schedule that makes it easy to succeed.


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