This email came out last Monday, without any warning at all. What followed it was an email from the Office of the Registrar, titled “Telebears for Spring 2013???????,” give or take a couple question marks. This multitude of inquisitive punctuations mirrored the look on our faces: TELE-BEARS ALREADY?! We’ve only been in our current classes for a little over a month, and we have to start thinking about our NEXT semester of classes? Plus deal with the wrath of the telebear? As Berkeley students, we all know the feeling. We have to figure out which classes to take in the first place, refine that list, organize them so that there are no conflicts and nap-time can be fit in, and then do it all again when Tele-BEARS shreds that first plan in an office-grade shredder.
With less than two weeks before Phase I descends upon us, here are some tips to make the best of schedule-planning season:
Talk to your major/college advisor – So we can probably all agree that we are independent students who can handle our own responsibilities! Many extend this to their schedule-building. But so few know that major advisors are such a great and underutilized resource! They know your major best — it’s their job — and can thus show you what classes you need to take, when you need to take them by, degree options that you may not be aware of and, we know this has probably killed a lot of you, which classes are during available in certain semesters. They are here to help you! And they’re hella nice people to boot. Find yours here.
Utilize NinjaCourses (or any other schedule-building site) - Because it is beautiful! All you have to do is plug in the classes you want to take and BAM it generates all possible schedules, ignoring conflicts. You can even maximize/minimize gaps and customize your time-of-day preference! Because some people really want those 8 a.m. classess, and some people just want to sleep until 2 p.m. Start buildin’!
Have a back-up plan - We know about the tendency for Tele-BEARS to not give us our ideal schedule, yet most of us wing it anyway. HAVE A PLAN. At least one back-up class is necessary. Or perhaps a whole schedule. You need wiggle room. What goes hand-in-hand with this is the headache of deciding which classes to enroll in Phase I and which to save until Phase II. Phase I should be all about classes you ABSOLUTELY NEED this semester or you may be in jeopardy of graduating later than planned. Phase II is the rest. But something shiny and brand new this year that will greatly alleviate the Phasing stress is Telebears Oracle. This website tracks enrollment for classes in previous semesters so you can see how full or empty they tend to get and when. So, to sum it up, have a couple classes to fall back on in case Phase II backfires, which it does more often than not. And use the Oracle!
Most important of all, DON’T STRESS. You have many resources on your side to help you along with your scheduling woes. Keep calm, maybe drink some tea, and Spring 2013.