What do I do if my schedule looks cumbersome (e.g., too many back-to-back classes)?
Scheduling can be a concern. There are 10 minutes between classes, which gives you enough time to get to your next class, plus maybe a quick washroom break and possibly time to grab a coffee, but not much else. Two classes back-to-back is generally not a problem at all. Keep in mind that you can only concentrate fully for so long, though; if you have three or more classes back to back, especially over the lunch hour, then your attention in the later classes is likely to suffer.
Professors do know that students don’t always get a lunch break, so most are understanding if you pack a bagged lunch and discreetly eat it during class time. Try not to be too noisy! (Especially if it’s a small class, you might want to explain the situation to the professor at the beginning of the term, so he or she understands you are not meaning to be disruptive).
If you keep juggling your schedule and considering alternative courses, you may be able to come up with something better. At some point, you may have to make a decision: do you want to stick with more-preferred courses and have an unwieldy schedule, or do you want to take some less-preferred courses and have a more manageable schedule? You know your capacities best; in the end, it’s up to you to decide.
If there are multiple sections of a course offered, contact the department and get on a waiting list for a section that will give you a better schedule, if possible. Click here for more information on contacting departments, and here for more information on waiting lists.
You may also want to check with the professor or instructors teaching the section of the course you are in, and the section you would ideally like to switch into. Click here for information on contacting professors. Inquire about the professor’s policy on attending different sections of the course. Some professors insist that students always attend the section of the course in which they are officially registered, to keep numbers evenly spread, to avoid confusion, or because different sections cover somewhat different material. Other professors/instructors teach multiple sections exactly the same way, and are fine with students attending whichever section they prefer on any given day, regardless of the one in which they are officially registered, as long as they can find a seat. Finally, some are mixed – they are fine with students switching around most days, but insist on you attending your officially registered section on certain days (e.g., test days, student presentation days). Even if you can’t officially switch sections, it is possible you may be able to informally attend a different section on some or all days, thereby improving your schedule.