Keep schedules diverse, avoid cramming

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Between generals and classes working toward your major, crafting a well-planned schedule can take more thought than passing the classes themselves. 

With registration open, help is still needed for students seeking the perfect schedule.

Rebecca Wright, a junior biology major from South Jordan, said she preschedules her classes.

“I like to go and look at my options for classes beforehand,” Wright said. “I write down all the ones I need and create schedules based around those.”

Zach Smith, a freshman general education major from West Jordan, said he looks for morning classes.

“I always look at what I need to take and try to make sure there is a time in the morning to take it,” Smith said. “I always set my personal schedule and then my class schedule.”

Mercedes O’Neal, a freshman general education major from Murray, said she has to work around her sports schedule.

“I have to schedule around volleyball,” O’Neal said. “I usually take later classes because of how early our morning classes are. I like to be able to go home and rest before I have to go to class.”

O’Neal said with being a full-time student and an athlete in the fall, she has to really look into scheduling options that will suit her best.

“I have to make sure my classes are in the middle of the day, after practices and before games,” O’Neal said. “If it’s not a game night, I like to fit in some sand volleyball to stay in shape.”

When it comes to figuring out classes and time slots, registration supervisor Jane Leaphart said to make schedule options.

“Write down the top three classes you need to take,” Leaphart said. “Write down every time slot for those classes to compare what is needed.”

Leaphart also said upperclassmen have the hardest time working around schedules because they have so many other things to do.

“A lot of upperclassmen like juniors and seniors are trying to do internships while working part-time while being full-time students,” Leaphart said. “I guess the only thing I try to suggest to them is don’t rush into 18 or more credits because that is just overloading stress. If it might take you longer to graduate, take summer classes to calm your stress level.”

Wright also does not recommend over-scheduling.

“I think [all] students think they can handle more at one point,” Wright said. “But once you get in too deep, your grades suffer. It’s just not worth it to (put) yourself under too much pressure.”

Wright said she worked on her major and intermixed it with her generals.

“It’s easier just to work [general] classes into your schedule if you already know what you want to do,” Wright said. “There are a bunch of different time slots for English classes but only one time for certain business or biology classes. I would just say to work generals in after you picked your major classes.”

Wright also said to pick effective electives.

“There are so many options for electives that I think go unnoticed by lots of people,” Wright said. “The biggest thing I would suggest is to take the elective classes that are really going to help your major. Yeah, some may sound more fun than others, but choosing the right ones will be the most beneficial.”

For the students who are still undecided, Smith said to just stay busy.

“I have been here for a year, and I still don’t know what to do,” Smith said. “I’ve just been working on my general classes, and from there I hope to figure what I love doing.”

Leaphart said there was not an easy way of choosing strictly generals over classes that will affect your major.

“Mix them together,” Leaphart said. “If you already know what you are doing then it should be pretty easy to pick specific classes, but if you are still undecided, I would suggest just getting as many generals out of the way (as possible). The purposes of generals are to help you find what you are passionate about.”

Leaphart also had one last word of advice dealing with which classes to take.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is to check what classes have prerequisites,” Leaphart said. “Not enough students understand that you have to make sure you have taken the previous class just to get into one that you really want.”

Registration has started for seniors, juniors and sophomores, and will open for everyone else Thursday.