In the Fall 2012 semester I took six classes and an internship, and in the last two weeks I wrote six final exams and completed several projects.
In the process, I sprouted dozens of white hairs, gained five pounds and my stomach was in knots all through finals. On top of all of that, I had to tell one of my best friends from Canada not to visit me. That was the worst! I told myself I would never do that again!
While I know that taking six or more classes is not the ideal situation, I still had time to have a life outside of school. I went to see a play, went out to dinner several times and always found time to watch my favorite shows. Looking back, I realized six things that did or would have made taking six classes easier. So here they are:
- Pick classes that are somewhat similar because they will overlap: while you are studying for one class, you are also studying for another. For example, I took American Government and Communications Law.
- Mix up core and major classes. Sometimes 1000/2000 level classes are easier, so pair them up with upper levels to balance the load.
- Check ratemyprofessor.com and ask around campus about classes and professors to make sure all your classes aren’t with the hardest teachers.
- When you are registering, check the final exam schedule for that semester to make sure you don’t have three finals in one day like I did!!!
- Record your classes so you can listen to them when you are studying. It is really hard to keep all that information in your head with six classes.
- Find smart and motivated people to study or share notes with. My study groups have not only helped me get through my classes with good grades, the girls I met have become my friends and possibly my future colleagues.
Next semester, I am trying out an online course – I don’t know how that will go, but at least it’s one less class I have to actually go to. We’ll see.