There is no such thing as a perfect schedule, especially a universal one. Every individual has their own ideas about the best time to sit through a lecture and the best time to study. Honestly, experience is the only way to figure out what’s right for you, but here my thoughts just in case.
I am not a morning person. I can barely crawl out of bed, even after my alarm has gone off fifteen times.So any class that begins before 11:00 AM is a class that I am not going to be on time for. I can guarantee I’ll be that annoying student slipping through the door five minutes after the professor started class.
However, there is something about having every class finished before noon. The entire day is free to just chill: you can get an evening job, finish your homework, go shopping, or even just take a nap. You can do whatever you want.
Afternoon classes are awesome for two reasons. First you can sleep in, and second students are generally more aware and responsive during classes. Afternoon discussions are way more lively and interesting than morning classes usually are. In fact, I once had a professor lecture my 9:00 AM class on how disappointed she was in our unresponsiveness. “You’re so much quieter than my afternoon class,” she complained.
But afternoon classes aren’t perfect either. You may be able to sleep through the morning, but you’re trapped in a windowless room during the sunniest and most cheerful part of the day. Plus these classes are sandwiched between everything else. If you don’t stay up really late it’s hard to get anything done before or after class.
Evening classes do not appeal to me; they are, in my opinion, the worst of the bunch. You have to wait all day for class to start and the anticipation will drive you crazy. Then, instead of spending just 1 ½ – 2 hours in class you have to sit there for 3-4 hours at a time. Not Fun! Sure, your professor may plan on letting you go early, if you’re lucky. But if you’re not lucky, he’ll require your attention the entire class.
Nevertheless, evening classes do have their benefits. You only have to go to class once a week, which means you have plenty of time to get all of your work done, and you’ll never have to worry about completing a project that was assigned on Tuesday for a Thursday class. (Warning: the long break can lead to other complications, like forgetting you had homework in the first place.) Plus, since evening classes attract a lot of different students they’re often more diverse and sometimes more interesting than morning and afternoon classes. Many of my evening classes were filled with graduate students who worked full-time jobs, and often had a different point of view on many of the topics we discussed.
So, try a mixture of all three class times and figure out what works best for you.