Well, it’s almost that time of the semester again,  the peculiar time of year where the weather gets warmer, the days get longer and you realize that as close as summer is, there is still A LOT to get done. Finals to study for, papers that were assigned months ago that you blew off till now and calculating how good you have to do on these next two tests to pass. Oh, and to top it all off, you have a whole semester to still register for, for next year. Stressed out yet? Well take a chill pill, I’m here to help.

Class Time

First off, take a long hard look at yourself. When registering for classes I find I, like most students, get the late night motivation goggles. You know, the midnight thought that goes something like: “Okay, I’m going to be productive tomorrow, I’ll wake up at 5 a.m. go for a few mile run, cure cancer and study before class”, then your alarm goes off… and the snooze button gets abused until noon, sound about right? Basically what I’m getting at is this, be honest with yourself. If you’re not a morning person, you know it, and the chances of you going to an 8 a.m. lecture 3 days a week are slim to none despite your best intentions. Try to schedule classes later in the day, it may mean you’re in a few hour lecture one day a week but that’s a lot better to people like me than waking up in any hour that ends in a.m.

Class Duration

This may seem like a conflicting point, it may not even make sense to the incoming students, but I promise you, the difference in a 50 minute class and hour 1:15 minute class can seem like a lifetime. I’m not sure what it is, maybe it’s the acute ADD that seems to affect every college goer these days, or maybe it’s the fact that no one should be forced to listen to a professor talk about statistics for more than an hour, but somewhere in there you may zone out. This is why it’s always important to do your research, on the flip side of the above statement, you may get into a 3 hour class once a week that’s really interesting to you and fits with your schedule and learning style perfectly. Personally I find a mix of classes’ works for me, that way a couple days of the week I’m in class mode and get them done, then on the opposite days I get a bit of a break and only have one class.

Professors

If I were to say take only one thing away from this article it’s this paragraph here. Professors are the most vital part of a successful semester, and as such they should be one of the most important decisions you make when registering. This is where two sites become your new Bible, RateMyProffesor and MyEdu. First off Rate My Professor, the go-to site for everyone signing up for classes. If you don’t know about it here’s the gist: You look at the professors in your university and see what people had to say about them. Keep in mind that some people may be biased, some classes are going to be hard no matter what and you may still not like them! But, the more opinions you can get the better, and as a kicker you can even rate them on hotness.

Now the main problem I have with RMP is that you can’t see grades, that means the guy who never went and got  an F  that commented “HE SUCKED!” holds as much relevance to you as the person who got a B+ and wrote a paragraph talking about teaching style and what the class is like. This is where MyEdu, a lesser known but amazing tool comes in. It does require registration (free I promise) but gives you a breakdown of grades for the professor by class over a huge time frame as well as offer some other great utilities so you definitely need to check it out. This should go hand in hand with RMP to give you the best idea of who to take and what to expect.

To wrap up, because I how hard it is to read anything longer than a tweet… Scheduling classes is no walk in the park, and may take a few hours out of your day, but I promise you it’s worth it. Especially when you are sitting in your first class of the day at noon, listening to a good, possibly hot professor talk about something you actually care about and your roommate has been up since 7 in a biology lab on fungus growth.

Know of a site or scheduling tactic that I don’t, think that sleeping with your professor is always the way to go? Let me know in the comments below!