Time is Money: Part Three - Be the first to choose your university timetable

If you plan to go to university, or currently attend, this is one of the most crucial pieces of advice I can give you.

If class selection becomes available at 8am Monday morning, you make sure you have your laptop booted up with the timetabling homepage open by 7:45 ready to enrol. The difference between getting your perfect timetable, and the scrappy leftovers available in the afternoon the same day could not only determine the convenience you have for the semester, but could actually cost you thousands of dollars.

Throughout university some live by the not-so-bright philosophy that P’s get degrees. This is a terrible mindset to have, but I also sincerely believe that a distinction average student with the worst timetable of all time is genuinely no better off at the end of their degree. Here’s why.

With the increasing prominence of online lectures, particularly for degrees like law and business, compulsory attendance at university can often be limited to 1 or 2 days with proper planning on a student’s behalf.

To prepare for the task of scheduling the semester’s classes, take the time to simply look at a draft timetable for possible subjects you wish to take, read any unit guides to assess which classes are made available online, and prepare a list of subjects and class times to enrol in.

A proactive stance in class selection can leave you with three days to take up part time work in the industry of your study. This experience over the course of three years can often prove more valuable than the degree itself. Aside from extra income, it facilitates an immeasurably easier transition into the workforce upon the completion of your degree. Hand on heart I can honestly say I’d hire a candidate with a credit average and 3 years work experience over the distinction average full time student.  

For those who may have a more difficult time scheduling classes at your respective universities than I did, just remember that even saving an hour here or there by grouping classes together efficiently may allow you to pick up one extra shift at your job, or simply free up more of your time to do the things you enjoy doing.

The overarching lesson here for those who are beyond university is this: always consider the future ramifications of decisions you make today. If you commit time and effort to efficient processes in the short term, the exponential difference is always worth it.