It seems like as my friends and I creep closer to graduation, I hear more and more horror stories about not being able to graduate on time. Mostly, those students blame their advisors for the problem and, while sometimes that might be the case, it’s always important to make sure you’re doing your job to ensure you graduate on time. Here are my best tips for staying on top of your requirements and making sure you graduate on time and without any problems!
Hold yourself accountable.
From my fist semester freshman year I have been constantly on top of my credits. So much that I created my own Excel spreadsheet to keep track of those classes, credits, and other graduation requirements (more on that later)! Advisors can only do so much for you. They have so many other students to keep track of, they can’t possibly know every little thing that’s happening with your schedule unless you meet with them. Advisors get busy in the weeks leading up to registration, so set an appointment to meet with them BEFORE that crazy time. I will usually meet with my advisor 2-3 weeks out from registration (or as soon as the courses are available to look at online).
The Excel spreadsheet I created helped me tremendously with planning out my schedule every semester and keeping everything in one simple place. I also have a designated folder that I keep all my course scheduling documents in and a notebook that I use to do rough planning of my schedule every semester. It really, really helps to have one single notebook for that. I’ve been using the same one since freshman year and it’s so helpful and cool to be able to look back and see what courses I ended up taking and what courses I didn’t end up registering for.
Like I mentioned above, your advisor is there to help you but he/she can’t do all the work alone! If you are scheduling a meeting with an advisor, make sure you come prepared with any and all questions you might have. Sure you could email your advisor all semester long but, really, you get the best help face-to-face. Pile up all those questions you’ve been saving all semester and bring them with you to your advising session! I personally will write any questions I have and stick them inside my designated folder (the same one I mentioned above).
I’m a crazy person so I love making Excel spreadsheets for anything and everything. I made this spreadsheet based off of a printed piece of paper my boyfriend got from his advisor when he was in college.
I color coded based on type of class. Classes for my major are highlighted yellow, classes for my minor are blue, GenEd classes are green, and any other classed I needed to take to graduate were highlighted purple. I didn’t highlight the classes I chose to take as an elective but I’m sure you could do that if you wanted as well! Below is an example of what my spreadsheet looks like.
Because this blog is all about helping other college students succeed, I wanted to share my spreadsheet with you! I’ve created a blank one (with my actual spreadsheet on a separate page for reference) for anyone to use to help keep track of classes and credits. You can get the spreadsheet by leaving your email below! Once you confirm your subscription it’ll be sent to your inbox. Look out for it! The spreadsheet is located on Google drive, to edit you can download it to your own drive or to your computer. Happy tracking!