There are plenty of sensible reasons to take eight classes in a semester, especially for busy biophysics majors. In future semesters, you’ll have more time to perform independent research, do extracurricular activities, study for the MCAT (we know you’re all edgy pre-meds), and explore our wide selection of interesting elective physics courses. Here, we have compiled a couple strategies to make an eight-credit semester more than manageable.
MANAGE YOUR TIME
The most important skill when tackling so many classes is time management. Keeping a tight schedule will maximize your productivity minute-by-minute. We’ve drafted a rough outline of the amount of time to spend on your daily activities during the semester.
80 hours for classes: on average, each credit should equate to 10 hours of work per week. Set a hard limit of 12 hours a class to prevent yourself from losing too much time. Long weeks now will make med school and residency a breeze.
42 hours of sleep: you can free up an extra half-day by only sleeping 6 hours a night instead of the suggested 8 (neuroscience is shoddy anyways).
21 hours of free time: leave 3 hours a day just for yourself. Plenty of time to play D&D, collect action figures, and (try to) lose your virginity.
12 hours of research: a heavy class load doesn’t mean you have to give up your time to play with biohazards and liquid nitrogen.
8 hours of volunteering: do not remove this essential component of your med school application.
4 hours for self-care: enough time for you to work out, shower, and fantasize about Princess Leia.
1 hour for eating: eating meals in the Dining Hall is a major waste of your time. Pick up meals from Gourmet Grocer every day.
LIMIT YOUR HARD CLASSES
With eight credits, you want to minimize the number of tough classes you might have. Take no more than two PHYS classes. Avoid tough, time-consuming courses such as those in HIST, MUSC, and the language departments.
PICK EASY CLASSES
It goes without saying that you want to finish your easy courses during this semester, including those under MATH, STAT, CIS, BIOL, and CHEM.
SET EXPECTATIONS WITH YOUR PROFESSORS
Most professors understand the busy lives of college students, especially biophysics majors! Make sure they know you have seven other classes on your hands, and that their class will not be a priority. This is sure to impress them enough to write you a glowing recommendation letter for grad school!
If you keep this checklist in mind, we guarantee that you can thrive no matter how many classes you have. The benefits will outweigh the sacrifice, so we highly encourage trying out an eight-credit semester. Remember that you can always drop courses if you must. Good luck!