Coming from high school, we are used to taking 6 to 7 classes a day with a 5-15 minute break between them. “I can do it in college,” we tell ourselves every semester. Even though we try to avoid this type of schedule, sometimes they are inevitable, because (1) we have to work and it's better to have all the classes together or (2) to simply get it over with. That’s why I bring to you the 5 most important tips to surviving a back-to-back day.
1. Good Night's sleep
There’s nothing worse than having 3-4 classes back-to-back with no sleep. Sleep helps you stay focused and engaged in active learning. A good night's sleep will ensure you make it through all your classes without feeling like you were hit by a bus.
2. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”
I was the student in high school who would skip breakfast or just eat a banana before going to school. If you want to stay awake on class, have a healthy and complete breakfast before leaving. Even if you don’t have time to eat snacks, your body will feel nice and ready to go. Waking up 10 or 20 minutes earlier doesn’t hurt anybody, right?
As a freshman, most of your classes will be located in Carol C. Harter Building Complex (CBC) or John S. Wright Hall (WRI). However, this will NOT happen every year. If you have to or are planning to take back-to-back classes, find buildings that take 5-7 minutes to walk. It will give you enough time to leave the class and find a good seat for the next class. You don’t want to be the person to run from CBC to the Engineering Building, hoping they will make it on time. Or if you are skilled, bring a skateboard. Just make sure you know how to ride it, so you don’t make a fool of yourself.
I tend to get angry and grouchy when I haven’t eaten. If you are like me, always be prepared. For drinks, limit your coffee and soda. As hard it is to admit, these drinks only give you a small boost of energy, and it will NOT make you stay awake through 1 hour and 15 minutes of class. Bring water instead, in your fashionable bottle of choice and fill it out in the different water stations around campus. As we all know, water is not going to help you all day, but snacks will! Buy healthy snacks that are easy to carry like almonds, fruits, cookies, yogurt, etc. However, you DON’T want to be the person that buys potato chips and chews like a beaver during class.
Most likely, you will have readings, quizzes and/or assignments due the same day. The best way to deal with all the work is to stay prepared and plan all of your week. Give yourself enough time to study and finish assignments days before they are due. Also, buy a planner or get one from UNLV (they always have a lot to give out at the start of the semester). If you are like me, just put your assignments and exams in Google Docs. This will give you the opportunity to set up alarms and remember when all of it is due.
Back-to-back classes can be exhausting. You will feel drained, tired and overwhelmed with all the new material in your classes. However, if you follow these tips, the ride will be a lot smoother and you will feel like a champion at the end of the semester (and you will do it all over again, even if you told yourself “I’m not doing any more back to back classes.”)
Adriana Batiz, Senior Orientation Leader
Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Major: Information Management