Upon the release of Spring classes last Monday, students eagerly rushed to the YES portal, feverishly planning their schedules. At MCL, we understand that planning your classes is stressful, so we’re bringing you insights straight from the source: our very own freshmen!
This article pulls back the curtain on the real experiences of your peers, shedding light on how they’re crafting their ideal class schedules. Get the lowdown on their approaches, learn from their successes, and find out what really works in the world of course selections. This isn’t your typical guide – it’s a firsthand account from your friends and classmates. Let’s get real about scheduling at Vanderbilt!
1. Annie Zhang
- “Never be shy about taking advantage of resources like your CASPAR adviser to help you plan your schedule”
- “Understand that your schedule won’t necessarily end up like how you imagined it would and that’s ok!”
On track to obtain an Economics degree, Annie knows that your advisor is crucial to getting the ideal schedule. She also notes that your schedule may end up being completely different from your first draft now, so don’t fret!
2. Sammy Kassan
- “Keep your options open”
- Sammy emphasizes the need for backup plans, and backup plans for those backup plans. A class fills up, you lose interest in pursuing a certain major, or you decide to drop for a variety of reasons. Whatever the case may be, take it from Sammy and have a plan.
- With a list of emergency courses to rotate into your schedule, you can be as cheerful as these students (right), and won’t need to panic when a course suddenly doesn’t work out.
Note: MCL does not guarantee this level of cheerfulness.
3. Ava Aria
- “Make sure the times are doable and meet with your advisor as soon as you can to get that hold removed!”
- With a planned Medicine, Health, and Society major, Ava recommends double and triple checking the times of your classes to ensure they don’t overlap. She also warns to make sure your CASPAR advisor removes your approval hold before registration day. You don’t want an unexpected surprise!
- In the YES Portal, under Student Registration and then Schedule, there is a visual representation of your schedule once you add classes to the cart. It can be really useful!
4. Mackenzie Wright
- “Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from academic advisors or seniors to ensure your schedule aligns with your long-term educational and career goals.”
- Economics major Mackenzie advocates for the advice of older students on campus. Seniors have an informed perspective on which courses are more difficult, the best aspects of their major, and career outlooks after graduation. Many times, seniors have participated in job interviews and can give you an insight into that process, as well!
5. Manushree Navaneethakrishnan
- “Something that’s really important, especially for rising freshman, is so much of class material is dependent on prior knowledge. I’ve learned that with pre-med, if you didn’t take AP bio or AP chem in high school, the academics here are going to appear very difficult. It’s still possible to do well but it means that you need to utilize classes that make you happy when you’re not grinding bio or chem.”
- As an English major on the Pre-Med track, Manushree gives us the lowdown on how to manage intensive science courses. By balancing them out with lighter classes, you’ll have more time to focus on studying for STEM.
6. Jessy Djakpa
- “When choosing classes, I like to think of them as serving different purposes. So they can belong to at least one of my majors, contribute to gen ed/axle, or contribute to pre-med or some other pre-professional track. I try to have some balance where I have at least 1 for each of those categories, and if I feel like I could use more credits I might take another class or two for fun. I’d say 15/16 credits is a decent amount if you want to challenge yourself a little but I feel like anything above that is unnecessary unless you really need to credits.”
- “Another thing is to check Rate My Professor. They are not all built the same and that is usually reflected on RMP.”
- “In the end, you can experiment a little with your schedule, especially since there’s a good chance you won’t get every single class you initially wanted. There’s the add/drop period and you also have the ability to withdraw later.”
Jessy, double-majoring in Psychology and Molecular and Cellular Biology, gives us lots of fantastic tips. Make sure most of your classes meet a requirement, whether that’s for your major, AXLE, or a pre-professional track. I second the importance of RMP- make sure to check it out!