Written by: Aubrey Aguilar
Trying to navigate your way through course selection and schedule planning can be quite the stress! But as a small community, we have a luxury that not many campuses share–we’re not as constrained by time. This means that we can use more time to explore our options before we have to register for courses. For most classes, unless they’re in high demand, we don’t have to register just because we could get waitlisted within the next 2 minutes. That’s a great feeling! This brings us to my first tip for schedule planning…
- Take your time to look at the Academic Calendar and your respective degree requirements. Looking at the Academic Calendar will allow you to double check that you already have what you need so far, and whether you’re required to complete any mandatory courses. Browsing also allows you to discover other options that might interest you.
- Talk to and touch base with your academic advisor. If there’s any piece of advice that I can give to students, it’s to utilize our Academic Advising services. Some of the best support systems can be found in our campus itself. Craig Cameron is our Academic Advisor and he’s been very helpful to me for the past 4 years. Craig is very understanding, supportive, and accommodating. He does an excellent job of not only ensuring you’re on the right path to success, but also in making sure that you’re not overloading yourself for the year. Even just making appointments to double check that you’ve chosen the right courses for the year can make the world of a difference. Talking to your Academic Advisor will help you plan your university career and fix any problems that may arise. This will leave you feeling more relieved, accomplished, and motivated—all without the headache!
- Browse through the Academic Timetable and draw out all of the courses (including the date/time) that you plan on taking. Drawing out a timetable on paper can give you a great sense of whether that specific schedule is going to work for you. Being able to look at a visual can really help you map out whether a certain class is going to conflict with other aspects of your life, or if a certain schedule may be inconvenient for you. The best thing about doing this is that you can make multiple timetable options before making a decision! Trent offers an amazing tool that allows you to do this: Go to Academic Timetable >> Click on Visual Schedule Builder.
- Try to find the syllabus for every course you’re interested in or planning on taking. Finding a syllabus even from a few years back can give you great insight on what to expect in the course and whether it’s right for you. Google will be your best friend.
- Sit in on a class before registering for it. If you have room in your schedule, try to attend the first lecture of the class and get a feel for whether you want to enrol in it.
- Ask people for course suggestions, recommendations, and tips. People are amazing resources, and hearing about their experiences can really help you weigh your options!
- Don’t be afraid to switch out your options if they don’t work for you. There’s always room for solutions and improvements—and if that means having to change something around, don’t be afraid to do that…
… Do what’s best for you and you will be successful!