Planning Fall Classes

As you Begin
We know you are anxious to start your first semester at Puget Sound. Here are some important tips to keep in mind as you begin planning and before your complete your advising placement questionnaire (becomes available April 1, to be completed by June 1):

Plan to participate in activities outside of the classroom. Out-of-class activities have a lot to do with the personal growth you will experience during your college years.

Practice time management. On campus, you are more independent than may have ever been before, and you will need to develop some self-discipline to manage your time well.

Keep your priorities straight. Your first responsibility as a college student is to be a student. But since you also need food, rest, and exercise, as well as outside activities, make time for your personal life as well as your academic one. Many college students use day planners. Plan on scheduling about 16 hours a week as time in class and another 32 hours for study. Figure in about 21 hours for meals, and another two hours or so to do your laundry, clean your room, etc. Don't forget to reserve at least three or four hours per week for exercise.

You should have about four to six hours per day left over. Now comes the hard part. How do you want to use those extra hours? Will you use eight to 12 hours per week for a work-study job or other employment? Will you participate in intercollegiate sports or intramurals, or sing in a choral group, or be a campus DJ? Whatever you decide, you should have time for two or three other activities. If you don't, college is likely to become a grind. Just be honest with yourself about how you want to spend your time. Even if you don't end up using a day planner, it never hurts to make a plan.

Don't procrastinate. After Orientation is over, many first-year students think they have more time than they actually have. Their class schedules require only about 15 or 16 hours in class each week. In some classes most of the grade is based on midterm and final exams and a paper that may not be due until near the end of the term. Unlike high school, several classes don't appear to require any "real" work for five or six weeks.

Don't be fooled. As a rule, to earn an average (C) grade in an average class, you should devote about two hours of out-of-class study for every hour in class. Of course some classes require less work outside of class; others require more. Plan a routine for keeping up with your studies rather than waiting until the last minute to work on a big project or paper or to study for a big exam.