13 Struggles Of Scheduling College Classes
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13 Struggles Of Scheduling College Classes

Not one time have I ever successfully created a schedule I think that I can realistically handle.

13 Struggles Of Scheduling College Classes
Healthy Heels

For college students everywhere, the absolute worst time of the year is upon us. No, I’m not referring to exams, or the large gaps between now and the next major holiday, or even the rapidly approaching end of college football season. Instead, I am referring to the single most stressful part of everyone’s college careers, occurring once a semester: scheduling classes.

For us, Penn Staters, the notoriously unreliable Lionpath website allows students the chance to build their intended schedule for the coming semester in advance. And then, around the end of October and early November, every student is given a specific date at midnight when their Lionpath scheduling is unlocked, and they can enroll in their next semester’s classes.

However, as many know, these dates are assigned in order of credits, granting the older students with more credits the ability to have first dibs on their classes of choice. Of course, this makes the dates for those students with fewer credits overwhelmingly stressful, as at midnight, thousands of other students’ enrollment ability goes live, and every student is searching to fill the same Gen Eds.

So, without further ado, here are thirteen struggles of scheduling classes in college, as told by a Penn State student who just generated the hardest schedule possible due to a lack of options.

1. The dreaded crashing of the website the second your scheduling date goes live

You know the feeling, you stayed up on a weeknight all the way until midnight, your enrollment shopping cart full, your mouse hovering over the enroll button waiting for that clock to change, only for your website to freeze or worse crash. At this point, it seems like all of your hard work has been for nothing as thousands of students who internet did not let them down grabbed the last spots in the classes you needed before you even got a chance.

2. You have your schedule ready, only to realize there’s a hold on your account

This should serve as a cautionary tale for any students scheduling: CHECK YOUR HOLDS. If there is something in the system that you have not yet completed, you will not be able to schedule, period. Don’t take the chance because nothing is worse than scrambling to fill out a form you forgot about at 12:13 am on a Tuesday.

3. Every single class you wanted or are required to take is full

Sadly, this is one of the most common outcomes of college course scheduling. Maybe it’s simply because of the sheer size of my college, but there is a disgustingly high chance of many of your classes having already filled up, sometimes including the waitlist, before you’ve even had a shot to schedule. Beware.

4. You check RateMyProfessor.com only to realize your new professors have horrible reviews

For me, this has to be one of the absolutely most painful parts of the entire corrupted process. Do professors ever check these sites themselves and try to improve their classes or teaching styles? Students literally rip them to shreds and for some reason I always end up with the teachers who have the lowest quality rating and the highest difficulty rating. Sigh.

5. You desperately search for any class as long as starts later than 10 a.m.

Maybe this is a personal preference, but I avoid 8 and 9 a.m. classes like the plague. Freshman year, I foolishly thought I could handle a four day a week 9 a.m. class thinking that since I could wake up for high school everyday at 7 a.m. Thought it’d be a breeze, and quickly realized it was one of the most torturous experiences possible. Afternoon classes, people!

6. Aggressively avoiding Friday classes, period… especially the early ones

As much as you think you will be a good egg and will be able to hop bright and early right out of bed on Friday mornings, after a nice night in or a controlled night out, I’m here to dash that dream down. It is legitimately impossible. Even if you head to bed at 7 p.m., I can almost guarantee that there’s something about Fridays that prevents any student from being able to rally for all of their classes that day.

7. The waitlist

I honestly think that nothing is more dreaded. The sheer anxiety of seeing that you might not be in that one class you really need, and of relying on others to physically drop such a high-demand class is truly agonizing. Especially because they extend the waitlist to 40+ spots, at times.

8. You are barred entry to a class because you don’t have the prerequisites

These are the real curveballs. You grab a class thinking it would be a nice simple addition to your schedule, others have recommended it or for whatever other reason, only to be denied because you needed to be some obscure major or have taken the most random classes before being allowed to take this class.

9. Every single one of your classes are on opposite sides of campus from each other

If you’re like me, and go somewhere as big as Penn State, this is truly an issue. We’re only given 15 minutes between classes. If you think that you can book it from one corner of campus to the opposite one 3 days a week and make it in time, you are kidding yourself. Because once the temperature drops or a stormy day hits, the last thing you’ll want to do is to sprint across campus.

10. How did I accidentally schedule two classes at overlapping times?

This is an easy, common, and highly annoying mistake to make. Because then, you have to pick one of the classes and start the scheduling process all over again by trying to fit it elsewhere in your schedule, while keeping the teacher quality in mind, and it becomes a nightmare. Always pay attention to your class times.

11. My perfectly planned schedule has somehow become impossibly difficult

In a mere matter of minutes, as soon as that clock struck 12 and I slam on the mouse to enroll, my entire schedule became a disaster. My classes didn’t go through, I had to find different times, teachers, and choices altogether, and now I’m left with a semester of courses I’m doomed to fail. HELP.

12. Maybe it’s time I change my major, that’ll make my life a little bit easier

This is a serious consideration I have after every consecutive scheduling night. If I glance over and I see my friend has easily scheduled 4 classes dedicated to observing crime scenes, or teaching elementary school children, or afternoon yoga or something. Compared to when I see my finance class at 8 am with the hardest professor on campus, this thought becomes very real.

13. Time to drop out!

I think I could live such a nice life if I just stayed at home, and my mom fed me, and eventually found a movie star spouse to live comfortably with for the rest of my life. There’s nothing wrong with considering the options, that’s all I’m saying.

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