Academia, Blog

College 101: 7 Tips for Scheduling Classes

*Don’t forget to pin this to your Pinterest board!*

In high school, you most likely didn’t have log in to a system and schedule classes yourself. In college, the process of scheduling can sometimes be somewhat of a daunting task, but if you have a good strategy then it makes it so much easier! Throughout this, I will talk a little bit about declaring your major. I plan to have a separate post about declaring your major soon!

1. Meet with your academic advisor

The most important step to scheduling your classes is meeting with your academic advisor. Typically, he/she will be based on your declared major and will give you an outline of the course progression you should take. Meeting with your academic advisor is SO important! If you are interested in taking any classes outside of your major, mention to them. They will be more than happy to help you explore different areas of interest and keep you on track for graduation and towards your goals.

2. Take your core classes first

Core classes are best taken first. As a general rule, these are the classes that all majors have in common. Taking these classes will help in deciding and declaring your major. These core classes provide an opportunity for you to explore your options and interests. College is a time to discover who you are, what you enjoy doing, what you’re good at, and what you want to be. If you find a core class very interesting, consider checking out other similar courses in that major.

3. Make a mock schedule

Once you have met with your advisor, you can start searching for classes that will be offered for the semester that you are trying to register for. You need to meet with your advisor a few weeks prior to when the registration window opens so that you will be prepared to register and won’t have to fight to secure a seat in a class. Trust me, preparing early is essential because sometimes registering for classes can be like the Hunger Games!

I typically would get a sheet of paper and draw columns for each day of the week. Then when I would find the class that I wanted I would write it in the mock schedule. Knowing exactly which classes you want helps for when the registration window opens so you can quickly add those classes without having to search and figure things out.

When searching for classes, there are a few things to consider:

4. Choose classes with professors that will best meet your academic needs

When looking up the courses that you are considering taking, it is important to look into who is the instructor for the class. Universities post semester evaluations on their site, but most students aren’t familiar with this. Instead, a lot of students use www.ratemyprofessors.com to learn more about instructors. Rate My Professors is an online database that compiles comments (both good and bad) from other students about professors. This will give you an idea of what the work load is, how they teach, what to expect from lectures and exams, etc. Talking with other students about professors is also a useful tool.

5. Time of day and days

When you schedule your classes, consider if when you are the most productive during the day. Are you a morning person? If not, then don’t sign up for classes early in the morning. Sometimes you won’t be able to avoid early classes because that is the only time that it is offered.

Also, some classes are offered Monday, Wednesday, & Friday for 1 hour, and some are offered Tuesday and Thursday for about an hour and a half.

6. Timing between classes

It is also best to not schedule classes back to back during your first semester. Give yourself an hour or so break to review over materials for the next class or grab some food. You also don’t want too big of a gap between classes. In my own experience, having a large gap does allow you to go home and do things there, BUT it sometimes makes it very hard to convince yourself to go back to campus! If you’re motivated then this shouldn’t be a problem.

7. Distance between classes on campus

It is very important for you to become familiar with campus. Know which buildings your classes will be held in and the determine the amount of time it will take you to walk, bike, or ride the bus to your next class ahead of time. Get a campus map and use it!

Hopefully these tips will assist you in scheduling your classes. Remember to not overload yourself with classes and take too many hours. Always consider how you will balance your life when scheduling classes. Good luck!

Cheers,

Kelly

Academia, Blog

College 101: 5 Tips for Packing for College

^^Be sure to Pin this to your Pinterest board!^^

I would say that packing for college is probably the most exciting (and sort of stressful) part of moving off to college. The thought of having a new place and getting to decorate is (most) every girl’s dream. But…what about everything else? Clothes? Toiletries? Kitchen supplies? It seems that the list builds and builds, and It get get a bit overwhelming to decide what exactly to bring. So, I have a few tips and basic lists to help get you started!

1. Plan Your Packing Early!

First, do NOT wait until a few days or a week before to start figuring out what you need to bring! The worst is being rushed when you’re packing because you tend to either overpack or forget to pack the essentials! I would recommend start planning what to pack as early as possible, that way when It comes time to pack you will be most prepared.

2. Make a List

This is probably my most important tip! I LOVE making lists. Scratching things off of a list brings me so much satisfaction. I literally make a list every day of things I need to do or things I need to grab at the store. Making a list for packing is no different! I always do this whenever my husband and I are planning a trip. So what do you include on this list?From the time that you wake up until the time that you go to bed make a list of every thing that you use throughout the day (just make a list on your phone!). Do this for a few days to about a week. I know It seems silly and a bit tedious, but you would be surprised by how much stuff you use and need every day. Let’s using getting ready in the bathroom for example. You get in the shower, use the shower, dry off, then use your after-shower products. Seems like it would be a short list, right? Well, think of it this way: When you got in the shower you pulled back your SHOWER CURTAIN, turned on the water and used your SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER, BODY WASH, LOOFAH, (and whatever else is from your shower routine). Next, you stepped out of the shower on your BATH MAT and grabbed a TOWEL. You dried off, used a BLOW DRYER for your hair and your STYLING TOOL (as well as any HAIR PRODUCTS), then put on your MAKEUP. Do you see what I mean? That’s a lot of things that you just used and you don’t even think about it on a daily basis! From this list, you should be able to see what items you use most often and are essential and items that aren’t as essential, but if you were in a bind you would need It!

3. Consider ALL Weather Conditions and Activities for Packing Clothes

Unless you aren’t able or don’t plan on going back home on your breaks, I wouldn’t suggest showing up to move-in day like Elle Woods did in Legally Blonde. Think of where you’re university is… For instance, I am in Florida where there are two seasons: mostly hot and cold. From April until maybe October, the weather here is pretty warm (depending on what part of Florida you’re talking about). So, I would pack accordingly for having mostly warm-weather clothes with a few pullovers, sweaters, yoga pants, etc. for the cooler days. This is assuming that I would be able to go back home and grab some clothes for the colder days. HOWEVER, you need to plan for ALL weather conditions! What happens if It rains? You’ll need a rain jacket, an umbrella, and rain boots! A lot of times there are some classrooms on campus that feel like the arctic. So, when the weather is too warm outside for long sleeves, but unbearably too cold inside to focus, what do you do? Pack a light jacket or a light pullover that you can carry or toss in your bag.Also consider different activities that you will be doing. For example, you’ll need work out clothes, sleepwear, casual outfits, dressier outfits for more formal occasions (you would hate yourself if one came up and you didn’t have anything to wear!), etc. And don’t forget your shoes, socks, bras, swimsuits, and underwear!

4. Containers Are Your Best Friend!

When you pack, of course pack some things in a few luggage bags that way when you have to travel you’ll have a bag! But for everything else, buy some cute storage containers and drawers to pack everything in and then use once you’re moved in. Depending on the space of your new dorm or apartment, these will definitely come in handy to keep your space organized and tidy, and help when you move out! Containers that are thin and can slide under the bed are great, and those that you can stack! Little pull out drawers are awesome for small toiletries like hair ties and bobby pins, as well as small office supplies like paper clips, pens, etc.

5. Remember the Little Things

Now that you have an idea of the major things to pack, consider the little things that you don’t use on a daily basis (or things you don’t realize that you use), but would be in a bind if you didn’t have them. For example, I knew that I had a closet in my first dorm that I moved into and brought all of my clothes…but I completely forgot to pack hangers! There have been several times that my clothes ripped or didn’t fit right and I needed a safety pin, so be sure to grab a box of assorted safety pins just in case! Also, I know most everyone can agree how frustrating It is when you need a hair tie or bobby pin and you turn your entire house upside down to find one, knowing that you had a thousand just last week! Be sure to pack those! And most importantly….TOILET PAPER! I know this list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s just to give you an idea of things to consider!Remember, you can always run to the store to grab the things that you need once you move-in. Trust me, you don’t realize the things you need until you don’t have them! That’s why I think It’s important to make a list and think ahead of time about the items that you need to pack. Also, It seems that the stores are out of EVERYTHING during move-in week, so to save you and your parents stress, go buy most all of the things that you don’t have BEFORE you pack up and move off to college!

Cheers!
Kelly

Academia, Blog

College 101 Series: A Guide for College Students

Although summer officially started only a few weeks ago, It wont be long before the back-to-school commercials and ads start reappearing. This got me thinking about how I can make the most of my blog, my experience, and education to offer advice to those just entering college or those still navigating the waters of college. When I first entered college I, like all students, went in wide-eyed and ready for the college experience. However, looking back there were several things I wish I had known or prepared for going in. Sure, college is the place to learn about yourself and figure things out for yourself, but it surely would have helped to have several tools in my bag to best help navigate the academic and social waters in the college setting. At an internship I developed this program called College 101 and it was tailored towards incoming freshman. From this, I hope to take the topics I addressed and offer fun, light, yet informative posts not only for freshman, but for all college students. First, let me give you a quick background on my experience and credentials…

After I graduated with my bachelor’s degree (in Child and Family Development), I went to pursue my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. While I was there, I worked as an academic advisor for my graduate assistantship. While I worked with all students, I mainly worked with freshman. I decided that clinical work wasn’t for me and I wanted to do something more researched-based, so I took a leap of faith and started my master’s degree all over in another program (Family and Child Sciences at Florida State University). I have since completed my masters and I am now working on my Ph.D. In Human Development and Family Sciences still at Florida State. While I have been here I have worked as a teaching assistant every semester and have taught a few classes as well. I am also a Family Life Educator which means I teach programs on important topics for individuals and families across the lifespan. For example, I take a topic like sexuality education but tailor It towards a specific audiences. Although it’s the same topic, the class for teenagers would look very different than one for an older adult. Why? Because they’re at different points in their lives and need different types of information!

This has given me a great hands-on experience working with college students. Most importantly, It has given me great insight to the needs of college students and getting to know and understand their experience and how I can best promote their learning experience. Also, It has made me aware of what some students need more help and guidance with–things that I, too, wish I had known or had support with when I was going through college.

So, this is where I need your help. I already have a list of topics that I am going to cover, but if there is anything that you would like to know more about please comment and let me know! Think of this as an inside look to academia and the college setting! I really hope to hear some feedback!

Topics for College 101:

Scheduling Classes

Declaring a Major

Roommates

Budgeting

Social Activities

Class Organization

Simple Survival (i.e., washing clothes, sewing a button, etc.)

Packing for College

Again, please let me know your thoughts!

Cheers!

Kelly