For freshman and seniors alike, there’s nothing quite as stressful as choosing classes at UC Berkeley. Fighting for a spot, hoping to get off the waitlist and trying to figure out if you’re on track to graduate. It can be extremely overwhelming trying to pick the perfect schedule. With spring 2023 enrollment just around the corner, The Daily Clog is here to help. We have created a guide with our top tips and tricks to picking the best classes for you next semester!
Know your requirements
One of the scariest feelings is not being sure you’re on track to finishing on time. With so many university, college and major requirements it’s easy to feel like we’re forgetting something. Our number one tip to fight this anxiety is creating some type of list with all of the classes you’ll eventually need to take. As you progress through your time in college, you check off what you have taken and easily see what’s still missing. Our favorite way to keep track is a spreadsheet that you can color coordinate by “complete”, “in-progress” and “still need to take.” If Excel is not your thing, a simple Google document or even note can work too. Having all your requirements laid out will also help you make sure you’re not saving all your difficult classes to be crammed in your final semesters. When starting to plan out your upcoming semester, having this layout will be a great starting point for finding classes.
One thing we’re all victims of is being too optimistic when planning out our schedules. We all try to persuade ourselves to do more than we can handle — whether we’re convincing ourselves we’ll get up for that 8 a.m. or thinking that 20 units is reasonable. As you start to plan possible schedules, make sure you’re being realistic. Everyone’s capabilities regarding class times and units are different, so don’t try to pressure yourself just because someone else is. You know what you can reasonably handle so be sure to not overload your schedule. Planning too much will only lead you to having an overwhelmed and stressful semester.
If you’re stuck between different classes or professors, the best advice we have is to ask others. Oftentimes picking the right class to fill a requirement and knowing what semester to take a course can make or break your experience. One of our top recommendations is using Rate My Professor. This website allows you to read reviews from countless students for each professor and class. Another helpful website is Berkeley Time. You can easily compare grade averages from the same class by different semesters or professors, or two different classes. This is to get an idea of which one might be right for you. Reddit, BerkeleyGuide on Twitter and Discord groups are also great resources to gain information on different classes. And, of course, you can always just ask around and see what other people you know have liked and disliked.
Our last tip is to make plans ahead of time. Make sure you have multiple possible schedules planned out in case a class fills up. Have several discussion sections picked so you don’t end up scrambling and choosing one at 9 p.m. Know which classes are sure to have a waitlist and enroll in those during the first phase . While picking a schedule is never easy and will likely not go your way, you can still get a good schedule if you plan out different outcomes. Be ready for any situation!
Choosing your schedule is hard. Knowing what to take and when causes more stress than expected every semester. Hopefully, though, these tips will help you during your planning and help you pick the perfect classes for spring semester!