Planning Your Courseload for Success

About Sarah Blake LaRose

Sarah Blake LaRose is a freelance writer and a professor of Biblical Hebrew at Anderson University School of Theology in Anderson, Indiana. She is one of three blind academic scholars who received the Jacob Bolotin Award from the National Federation of the Blind in 2016 in recognition of innovative work in the field of access to biblical language texts and tools for people who are blind.

College students sometimes find themselves unprepared for the stress and workload at college. Too often they learn through trial and error how to succeed and wishing they had known in the beginning what they learned along the way. One area of difficulty for many people is that of managing work load and study time. Here are some tips that can be helpful.

1. Consider your areas of greatest interest. This can be especially important if you are in your first two years of school and are still taking “the basics”. Including one or two courses which interest you will help keep up your motivation.

2. Consider the amount of work required for each course. Some courses require a lot of reading and/or writing. If you are still learning to work with readers or tend to have difficulty with heavy courses, balancing a couple of “light” courses with some heavier ones may be a good idea.

3. Use your time effectively. If you have courses which will be taught in the same building or buildings near each other, you may find it beneficial to schedule them back to back so that you can optimize your study time later. On the other hand, you may find that taking a break between classes helps you to prepare yourself mentally for the next one.

4. Consider the time of day which is best for you. If you work best at night, you may prefer to schedule classes in the afternoon so that you can sleep in. On the other hand, you may prefer morning classes and some time for a short nap in the afternoon. The important thing is to schedule your classes so that you will be most alert and have time available to study when you can concentrate on studying.

5. Don’t overload yourself. It is important to leave yourself some time to relax and have fun. Taking care of yourself emotionally and physically is just as important as getting good grades. You’re more likely to stay in school and do well if you’re
happy and free of too much pressure.

Once your courseload is planned out, you’ll be ready for the next step to success: organizing. Before you take this step, take a moment to relax. Your courseload is planned, and this is one less thing to worry about.

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