Back-to-back classes are the most effective way to clear up your schedule for non-academic related things like work or hobbies.
They’re massive lifesavers for busy students but they’re also a bit of a double-edged sword if you don’t know how to manage your time well. Today I’m sharing with you 6 tips for taking back-to-back classes.
One of the hardest things about taking back to back classes is juggling the workload. You’ll possibly have readings/quizzes/assignments due around the same time or, at the very least, you’ll have homework due on the same day. This calls for planning and preparation. You don’t want to be poorly prepared for class, struggle to make it through the hour or two and then struggle through you next class as well because you didn’t read ahead. I’m constantly advising people to buy a planner or use the calendar in their phone to keep organised. It will help you out so much when it comes to balancing your everyday life and back-to-back classes.
Snacks & Water.
I get so distracted and grumpy when I’m hungry, so make so you bring snacks to nibble on between classes (or stealthily eat during a lecture, no judgment here). Another big thing to remember is to eat breakfast and lunch. These are the meals that will help sustain you for longer, so you’ll be able to get through your back-to-back classes and you’ll be less likely to snack on unhealthy food! Obviously, it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, too but don’t rely on coffee, sugary drinks or soda which are so unhealthy. If anything they’ll give you a small boost of energy and you’ll crash half way through your class, which is the exact opposite of what you want! Try water, tea or even freshly squeezed juice to give you a nice boost of energy for the entire day!
Take a walk in between classes.
Sitting still in the same position for an hour or two is horrible for your back and for your circulation, so make sure you take a little break to stretch and walk in between classes. It doesn’t have to be long, or out of the way. Just enough to get the blood flowing again. If you’re in the same building or classroom, just take 5 minutes to get some fresh air, go to the toilet or refill your water bottle. Also, if you’re professor/lecturer offers a break for everyone to stretch their legs in the middle of a long class or lecture, take advantage of it and get moving! It’ll help so much when it comes to concentrating on your work.
I’ve mentioned the importance of active learning before and this also comes to play here. You need to be alert and focused in class to learn anything. What’s the point if you’re going to get distracted, nod off or daydream? Make sure you stay focused in class by taking notes, asking questions and getting involved in discussions. It’ll also help fight off and lethargy you’ll probably be feeling from being stuck in class for so long as well!
Get 8-10 hours of sleep the night before.
Sleep is so important for helping keep you focused, which is vital to surviving back-to-back classes. Getting a full nights sleep and rocking up to class well rested is going to ensure that you’ll make it through to your last class of the day without feeling you’ve been hit by a bus.
Keep a list of questions to email instead of staying behind.
While you’ll normally have enough time between classes to get from one end of campus to the other, you often won’t have time to stay behind to ask questions or clarify things with your tutor/lecturer/professor, etc. This is why it’s a good idea to keep a little list at the back of your notebook (or on a sticky tab or separate word document) to keep track of questions you have about the work or upcoming assessment for you to email to your teacher after class. Pro tip for this, is to check through and make sure you didn’t miss anything or doze off whilst in class before you send that email to save yourself getting the embarrassing ‘we covered that content in class’ or ‘you’ll find that in the required reading this week’ reply.
Remember it’s okay to be overwhelmed or tired.
Back-to-back classes can be exhausting, both mentally and physically. It’s okay to feel drained, tired and a little overwhelmed at the end of the day. The important thing here is to decide whether you can survive doing this an entire semester or if you need to drop the class, change into a class at a different time or push through. Just remember, your mental & physical health is important and if you need to drop out of a class or change into another one, it’s no biggie. You need to put yourself first.
Do you have any tips for taking back-to-back classes? Are you a fan of taking back-to-back classes or do you like to spread your workload out a little longer? Let me know in the comments below!