Making a Class Schedule

Posted by Mathew

As November approaches, many students are starting to think about next semester’s classes. On October 28, the Spring class list will be released in detail over UAOnline and UAF Course Finder, and you can start filling out your schedule in detail. In the interest of helping you have a successful and happy semester, here are some tips that I’ve learned on my journey through UAF:

1. Think ahead! Even if you’re a freshman who is thinking of changing majors, you can start putting together a long-term graduation plan. While detailed schedules are not available years in advance, you can find some helpful information on the UAF catalog’s course descriptions webpage. Make sure to become familiar with your major’s course requirements, and then look through the course listings to see what courses you need to take, what electives you would be interested in, the pre-requisites for those courses, and the semesters they’re offered for. In some cases, your major department may even provide sample graduation plans!

2. Don’t be afraid. Especially when you’re just starting out, you might try to take on too much, or take a few steps down the wrong path. That’s okay! We’re here at UAF to learn, and learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom. Remember that you can always drop or withdraw a class that gets to be too much for you. And if you find that your major isn’t quite as good as you thought it would be, don’t worry. It isn’t too late to change your mind and go down another path (just as I and most other students have done), especially if you’re early enough in your college career to be taking mostly core requirements.

3. Consider your full range of options. At UAF, you don’t have to take all your classes in the Fall and Spring semesters. Instead, you can opt to take classes during the summer (at cheaper rates too, especially if you’re an out-of-state student) or Maymester or Wintermester – two-week intensive courses that allow you to power through a class. While the shortened length of classes in summer, Maymester, and Wintermester may look intimidating, consider that, by taking these classes, you lighten the load you need to take during the full school year and free up time in the long run.

4. Finally, have some fun! I’m a strong advocate of having fun in general, and your class schedule is just another way you can do that. Chances are, you have interests outside your major and minor. Why not take a chance to explore them? During my first year here, I took the full year’s sequence of Fundamentals of Biology I & II. This semester, I’m taking Pistol Marksmanship. As a math major and economics minor, I can’t say those classes are likely to advance my main course of study or my career. But they were fun! It’s good to be focused, but don’t let yourself forget that the world is filled with fascinating topics to explore and UAF is here to help you see some of them.

With these tips in mind, good luck! Going to college can be stressful, and sometimes classes just seem too hard. But we all have the potential to succeed, and as long as you work hard and don’t give up, you will. Just make sure to take the time to enjoy and truly learn from your classes!

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