Did you set up your schedule for four years? Find out why you should!

Unlike high school when you attend college you know all of the classes you will need to take over the next four years at the time of registration. This allows you to select those classes you wish to take during specific semesters. While part-time evening students may find it necessary to choose classes based on when they are offered, full-time day students usually have a set schedule they follow for each semester. That doesn't mean the schedule is not subject to variation, but for the most part students know what classes they will be taking during the eight semesters of college.

Choosing Your Courses

While there is some flexibility in choosing your courses, you also have to careful not to risk being close to graduation and finding you are missing courses. There are courses that have pre-requisites (for example, taking Algebra before Trigonometry and Trigonometry before Calculus), and if you go out of sequence with these courses, the later courses may not be available at the time you need to take them, especially if you are attending college in the evenings when selections are limited.

Dropping Out of a Course Can Create Havoc with Your Schedule

Students that are hoping to graduate in the four-year period need to be very careful the way they schedule their classes. In addition if you drop a class or have to retake a class it can throw your schedule out of balance. This is why some students choose to take at least a couple of classes during the summer—to give them some "wiggle room" in case something happens. Unlike high school you are not going to "fail" the year if you fail a couple of courses, but you will have to retake the courses, and if you are on a scholarship or grant you will probably have to pay for the courses yourself.

Incorporate Some Summer Courses to Allow for Emergencies

Those students who really want to graduate on time may choose to take some courses during the summer in order to offset any emergencies that may occur. It is much better to schedule ahead and find you complete your coursework early rather than to try to hold to a tight schedule and endure frustration when you discover you will not graduate with the rest of your class. Most colleges only hold graduation ceremonies once a year, so if you don't graduate at that time, you may have to wait another year for the ceremony even if you complete the remainder of the requirements the next semester.

Allow Yourself to Relax with Some "Fun" Classes
Instead of bogging yourself down with nothing but classes you have to pass in order to graduate, try incorporating some fun classes that you don't have to pass but give you an opportunity to relax. These classes can be completely unrelated to your curriculum or they can be ones that will help you complete the rest of your classes easier—the decision is entirely up to you. However, you definitely need to allow yourself some time to relax at some point during your college program.
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