The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

How to build a successful schedule

When it comes to crafting the perfect schedule for fall semester, a lot of first-years don’t know where to begin.

Do you play it safe with an intro class or take that 3000 level anthropology course and get three pillars plus a proficiency out of the way?

Should you express your autonomy over your schedule by starting your school day at 1 p.m. or take an 8 a.m. so you can finish by noon?

And what about how many classes to take?

Course difficulty, time and credit hours are just a few of the things you need to consider, so here are some tips for incoming first-years on how to pick a schedule that works for you.

1. Make good use of your resources.

Advisors go through class selection for hundreds of students with varied interests every semester; and yours has likely been at SMU a lot longer than you have.

They know a thing or two about what makes a good schedule.

When you go into your advising session don’t just sit there and nod your head.

Bring a list of questions you would like your advisor to answer and don’t be afraid to voice any concerns you have about your prospective schedule.

2. Schedule a mix of classes.

You don’t want to end up with a boring schedule because you took too many writing intensive courses or all science classes.

Pay attention while you’re searching in the online course catalog so you end up with classes of varied sizes, difficulty levels and subject matter.

3. Don’t postpone math.

I get it, math isn’t the most fun and you don’t think you’re ever going to need the quadratic formula long term, so why take a math class now?

After taking one every school year for 13 years, going a semester without a math class may leave you a bit behind when you take a course down the road.

Also at this point any major you’ve picked is tentative.

You have no idea if the major you end up with will require more than one math class, so it’s best to lay a foundation for college level math courses your first semester freshman year.

4. Take an 8 a.m. if you can handle an 8 a.m.

If you consider yourself a morning person then that’s not something that’s likely to change just because you’re in college now.

If you aren’t a morning person then skip that 8 a.m., it’s not for you.

5. Take at least 15 credit hours.

Just in case you end up dropping a class you don’t want to end up falling below 12 credits which is the number of required credit hours for full-time students per semester.

6. Take a chance.

You get to pick your own classes now, so why not try something new?

You might end up discovering you have a passion for medieval history or abnormal psychology but you’ll never find out if you only stick with subject matter you are familiar with.

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