How far ahead to do you plan for college/life?

<p>I've developed a habit of obsessively planning for college. I really don't want to mess things up (even though I already have at times), and I know I'm dealing with really valuable time- and not to mention lots and lots of money- so I want to make sure I get things right the first time. </p>

<p>How far ahead do you plan as far as classes, semesters, time-off, etc. goes with school? Do you like planning out each year or do you just deal with things as they come? How far have you planned for post-college and what you'd like to do with your life then? I'm just wondering if anyone else shares this special habit :D</p>

<p>I have a calander in my apartment... it shows the times I have work, which is normally 1-2 weeks in advance. Beyond that.. I'm completely "unplanned". I've never even bothered to look at what days/times my finals are on till maybe a week before finals start. I can't imagine planning out my life after college, that seems absolutely pointless to me. Living life by letting things develop is far more fun, enriching and exciting.</p>

<p>I plan. </p>

<p>The only problem is that I am planning on the assumption that a particular class will be offered when I need it. Unfortunately, there is no way to confirm whether a class will be offered if I plan on taking it two years from now for instance.</p>

<p>I can only truly and accurately plan for the upcoming two semesters.</p>

<p>"How far have you planned for post-college and what you'd like to do with your life then?"</p>

<p>I haven't. I occasionally get into this mood where I obsess over that but otherwise, no I haven't. There are way too many things that can change in 4 years for me to really plan what I'm gonna be doing and where I'll be living.</p>

<p>I don't plan work/life/post-college, but I definitely plan courses every semester and track out what the effects are til I graduate.</p>

<p>Once you've settled on your major and are confident you're happy with it, you need to be taking a class on your longest pre-req chain every semester. Otherwise, you've wasted that semester (academically speaking).</p>

<p>I'm a freshman and I like planning. I know all the classes I'm taking next year. I know the general amount of major classes I'm taking junior/senior year but I won't be able to know exactly which classes those are. I have general plans for things I want to apply for and do junior/senior year too: research, ideas of what cities I'd like to get internships in the next couple years (LA/SF), study abroad at oxford (1-2 quarters), honors thesis, very competitive entrepreneurship fellowship, coterm a masters degree my 5th year, apply for HBS 2+2 program). I don't know what I want to do after graduation though. I'll see what my interests look like as I go through college more.</p>

<p>I like to make tentative plans up to six years in the future (getting less specific toward the six year mark). Because there are so many different paths that I'd like to take, I like to plan out what each one would look like, to see if that helps me decide. I have a lot of plans like llpitch. There are so many things I want to do with my undergraduate education. I want to study abroad, have internships, double major or major and minor (depending on the combination I choose), write an honors thesis, and so on and so forth. That makes for a busy few years, but if I plan well, it doesn't have to be overwhelming or stressful - in fact, I can basically double major, study abroaad, write a thesis, take four years of Arabic, AND take a year of unrelated GERs without going over 18 credits a quarter (a very normal courseload).</p>

<p>I plan up to six months in advance. I tend to take things a few steps at a time.</p>

<p>For example, I didn't even think about the college process until the beginning of my senior year, when everyone started talking about it.</p>

<p>I planned the last two years of my undergrad career leading up to graduate school. I have a list of the classes I plan to take or at least the type of class I need to take pertaining to my major (like "1-literary theory class" or 1-English seminar class") -- all on a Word document. =)</p>

<p>Also, in the same document, I have plans of when I will do certain things, like Junior year I will see if I can pursue an honors project, summer 2011 I will study abroad in England, fall 2011 -- hopefully get to work in a lab on-campus for developmental psychology. I have plans! But I think I drive myself too crazy o.O</p>

<p>I have a huge set of spreadsheets with my plans. I am on the computer at work all day and it's slow, and that's when I get a lot of my planning done. I have rough drafts of what my undergrad career looks like with, say, this major or that major, or going to this study abroad location or that one.</p>

<p>i have all the courses i'm planning to take for my 4 years of undergrad planned out.. and i'm not even a freshman yet O.O</p>

<p>I have school stuff planned out a few months in advance but not much more, it's kind of hard to plan too far before the course guide is released for the next semester. But this semester I randomly decided to drop a class and I might be dropping one of my summer classes too, so I am going to have to pretty much completely change my Fall semester and likely my winter will have to change, too.</p>

<p>I haven't had a break from school since high school though, so otherwise there is not much to plan.</p>

<p>I have up to about my mid twenties tentatively planned as far as things besides school go. I know I am getting married after we graduate so I kind of had to have some kind of a tentative plan at least to make sure he and I are on the same page.</p>

<p>I thought that I was the only one who did this! All my friends look down on me because of it, but I have numerous spreadsheets detailing my entire undergraduate career. I hand-choose every course that I take extremely carefully, after many months of contemplation. I have a list of all my future classes, and the requirements they fill. The majority of the time, they're either classes that I have no way of getting around, or classes that fulfill 2-4 graduation requirements. Further, I make it easier to schedule classes to note the classes that I have yet to fulfill their prerequisites for. Therefore, I have about 10-15 classes to choose from every semester in the off-chance that a certain course isn't offered.</p>

<p>Then I have my spreadsheet detailing the exact amount that I will owe after my education, taking into account the predetermined increase of tuition, and the trend of periodical increases in housing of around ~2-3% every 2 years. I then put the amount that I earn in grants in scholarships in one area, and then my loans in another area. At the bottom of the spreadsheet, I create a listing of both subsidized and unsubsidized loans over a four year period, independently of course, and determine the compounded interest on the unsubsidized. I then determine the eventual monthly payments over a both 5- and 10-year repayment program, taking into consideration interest on both. Then the final number comes down to the how much I would eventually be paying after both 5- and 10-years, assuming payments are made on time and in full.</p>

<p>Another one of my spreadsheets that is more short-sighted, which lists all the previous grades of all past classes, and the break-downs of the classes that I'm currently taking. After I get a grade on an assignment, I input the grade into the spreadsheet and it calculates the current total score of the class, and the relative overall score of the class. It then compares that grade using the relative overall score to the prior grades and other classes I'm taking, to calculate a potential gpa for both the current semester and future semester.</p>

<p>When I'm enrolling for classes, I also use excel to create weekly calendars with all the classes that I'm taking on it, where they are, what time they are, who teaches it, and where they're located. It makes it easier than trying to read the poorly school-made calendars that they produce. It also allows me to input my working schedule, and the time that I'm able to devote to homework, food, sleep and my relationship. </p>

<p>To make planning of the future easier, I make monthly calendars listing every single written assignment, test, event, final, etc... that each class requires me to go to, or that I'm interest in on campus. I, of course, also include things like birthdays, doctor's appointment's etc..., as well on them.</p>

<p>In another one of my spreadsheets, I take the information from the first spreadsheet that I told you about, with the undergraduate courses, and I go into explicit detail about each and every single one. I list the current CourseRank information (updating it at the end of every semester), the prerequisites, a synopsis of the class, a link to the syllabus (if possible) and the overall "difficulty factor" to continually help me when scheduling for classes in the upcoming semesters.</p>

<p>I also have a spreadsheet detailing every expense, by category (such as food, transportation, entertainment), and using the data to contrast a preexisting budget, allowing me to keep track of finances on a very limited budget. If I've used too much of my savings, I'll cut back on a non-essential (I'll eat a little less food, won't travel home, won't see a movie), or try to pick up extra hours at my job. It can be really useful when you have only so much money to last you for so many months.</p>

<p>I have many other spreadsheets, and I sometimes have the same spreadsheets in different formats as well.</p>

<p>Keleso, we should be friends.</p>

<p>Plan as far as tomorrow.... =p One day at a time. </p>

<p>I think I'd like to live in a city in the next phase of my life, doing whatever I end up doing. More opportunities. More people to meet. :)</p>

<p>And Keleso...would you mind organizing my life like that too? I only use spreadsheets to track my workout stuff lol.</p>

<p>jesus christ @ Keleso</p>

<p>I came in to college extremely unorganized but after my first semester things have changed and I now plan ahead very indepthly.</p>

<p>Currently, I have two four year plans that maps out each course I can take. One of the four year plans is basically for 1 major +2 minors and a few electives, while the other four year plan is for a double major. The actual four-year plans don't start changing until about junior year since a lot of the courses in both plans are interchangeable. In addition to that, I have at least 3 courses that can be substituted for any single course just in case I do not get the course I want. I have also planned so that during the second semester of my junior year I am taking less credits than average since I will either be preparing for the LSAT or I will be applying for internships or both.</p>

<p>Both plans are listed in MSword (but it might as well be excel). In each of these documents, I make sure to list down the GPA of that semester once I know it and also put down the cumulative GPA. If I happen to finish one of the requirements for graduation (e.g. major requirements, writing requirements etc), then I will jot that down in bold in advance. I don't attempt to calculate GPA in advance or see what will happen to my cumulative depending on semesters... I just always shoot for a 4.0.</p>

<p>Upon receiving/creating my schedule for next semester, I create an excel spreadsheet. In this spreadsheet I note when each class is and where. I also put down a basic schedule for the entire semester. I like following a routine, so I jot down when I should wake up and sleep every day, I always try and wake up and sleep within the same hours. I also note when to exercise since I consider exercise and health very important to me. Finally, I also put down 2 hours of studying/day into my weekly spreadsheet that I treat like classes. During this period there is no excuse for not studying with max focus, and if I happen not to be finished with work, then I should still have ample time to study during the periods of the day that I jotted down as leisure time.</p>

<p>When I get the syllabus, I have this application on my iphone that is made for school. In it, I put down each of my assignments and for each class and for when it is due. I then go onto my mac and put those same assignments down on my iCal. Often I end up finishing stuff a lot before the end of the semester, which is all good since usually by the time exams come, while everyone is all stressed out, I am fully prepared and relaxing only having to do some revision.</p>

<p>The reason I end up finishing stuff in advance a lot is because I also plan out which assignments to finish at least a week in advance on a rather short to-do list. I make a new to-do list every sunday, and often I will update it throughout the week as things come up.</p>

<p>That's about it... I don't really plan anything financially since I'm not in too much trouble... I just make sure to have a regular flow of cash go into my savings for that.</p>

<p>Keleso, same here man.</p>

<p>I don't care what anyone thinks of me for it, because the benefit from it is 10,000,000 times more than any random social stigma from lazy people who find out about it.</p>

<p>Xptboy... thats awesome. I thought I was the only one that organized (well, I'm not even quite that good). It sounds very Cal Newport, which is how I intend to handle my college years. I agree - there's a lot of social stigma involved with being organized and planning ahead, but it pays out huge - especially when we're relaxed and prepared and everyone else is freaking out.</p>

<p>Keleso you sound like me! My freshman year I had planned out what I should do until I graduate, including summer courses I could take. I knew the website of the school I wanted to transfer to like the back of my hand, and I just did everything I could so that there would be no surprises. </p>

<p>Then, randomly, I discovered the school I really wanted to transfer to. I actually found out about it here on cc, lol! And so everything changed. Part of me felt bad just because I had planned so much. Everything was completely different- from the fact that I randomly found a new school to the fact that I decided to do a semester-long internship. </p>

<p>I think planning in advanced is great for college, especially since there is just so much that can go wrong. You might realize too late that a certain course is only offered fall/spring, you might realize classes won't transfer, etc. And it is a LOT of money that we're dealing with here, so I'd hate to waste a whole semester worth of costs when I could have seen it coming.</p>

<p>However, what I learned this year was that you never know what life might throw at you- and even when some crazy opportunity is thrown at you, you never know how it might turn out. So I'm still planning in advance, but I definitely do keep in mind that things will change.</p>

<p>Oh, and Keleso, money is another big issue for me too. Before I did my internship this semester I tried to budget very carefully, seeing how much money I could potentially make this semester, how much I might make others, how much I could contribute towards my college costs and vacations. I ended up coming home with very little and now I haven't even found a new job. But it's still good to know what you've signed up for and make sure that you have all of your loans, scholarships, left over payments, etc. in order.</p>