You go to orientation, you get your school fall schedule, and…
You didn’t get any of the teachers you wanted.
Your toughest class is bright and early in first period.
You got the worst lunch period, right in the middle of a class.
Your study hall period is right after all of your hardest classes.
It couldn’t be any worse. But take a deep breath – it’ll be okay. There are plenty of ways to cope with a bad fall schedule.
See What Can Be Changed
It’s possible – though not necessarily likely – that you might be able to make some changes to your schedule. It certainly doesn’t hurt to talk to your counselor about making some changes, but you’ll need to have some good reasons (and, no, “I hate mornings” is not a good enough reason to change your entire class schedule). Sometimes if you make one class change, your whole schedule will shift. So, for example, if you ask to be moved from an honors class into an AP class, you might end up with a schedule that makes you a bit happier.
Deal With What Can’t
If your schedule still stinks – or it can’t be changed at all – you’ll have to take it in stride. Remind yourself that it’s only temporary. Worst case scenario, you have a not-so-good schedule for one year. Soon enough, you’ll have different classes with a different schedule – and before you know it, you’ll be in college where you have a lot more control over which classes you take and when.
Practice Careful Time Management
Some scheduling nightmares will just require some creative time management. For example, let’s say you’ve got AP Chemistry first period. You’ll still be half asleep while conducting labs with finicky compounds – joy. First, you’ll want to make sure that you take care of all of your Chem homework and studying the night before; no cramming first thing when you’re still tired. Second, you might want to try to set your alarm a little earlier so that you can wake yourself up a little more thoroughly (do some jumping jacks, douse your face with cold water, or set up a caffeine IV line – whatever works for you).
Keep an Open Mind
Let’s say you got the teachers with the reputation for being really tough – the ones everyone in the grade ahead of you warned you about. Keep an open mind. Some of these teachers might end up being your favorites. Sometimes the teachers that most students don’t like are the ones who push you to new heights or open your eyes to a new field of interest.
And sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they’re just teachers you really won’t like. And that’s okay – consider it a life lesson. Sometimes you’ll have professors and bosses and coworkers you really won’t like either, but you’ll still need to figure out a way to deal with them.
Get Some Extra Help
But what if you got a teacher who has a reputation for just being a really bad teacher? That’s the worst – when you’ve got a subject you really want to learn and a teacher who just isn’t a good teacher. That’s when you get some extra help. You shouldn’t have to teach yourself AP US History, but if you got a brand new teacher who has no idea what he’s doing or a veteran teacher with a terrible AP exam pass rate, you might have to do the heavy lifting outside of class. Consider getting a tutor who specializes in that subject, whether it’s an upperclassman who aced the AP exam or a professional like the experts at C2. Create a study group with some of your classmates so that you can commiserate and learn together.