With the social life pressures, peer pressure, the stress of adulthood and the stress of classes, college can be quite the daunting and intimidating situation. But, fear not, there are plenty of people (friends, colleagues, parents, academic advisors and professors) who are more than willing to help you and guide you along the correct path. College is about opportunity and choosing the right options when opportunity presents itself. College is about learning how to balance a happy and fulfilling social life with a stressful and demanding class schedule. College is about learning the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in whatever field you are planning on pursuing.
A common mistake that many new students make concerns their course load, and credit load that they take on. Many students tend to take on too much work and get overwhelmed. They end up neglecting their social life, and in the process neglecting many of the new opportunities that would be available to them in college. Too much work also leads to too little sleep and in turn lower grades than you would get otherwise. That is why it is important to test the waters first, and to not overwhelm yourself with too many classes right off the bat. It is important to take an average credit load at first and see how it feels and whether or not you think you can handle a bigger credit load in the future. College courses are not something you just want to dive head first into, because, odds are, you will run into some snags along the way and your college career will suffer for it. It is important to work hard, but it is also important to stop and smell the roses every once in awhile too!
What is the right amount?
Well, that all depends on what kinds of classes you are taking and what your goals are for college. The best thing to do is to speak with an academic advisor who has years and years of providing guidance on this very subject. Most colleges have a minimum number of credits a student must take (usually 12-14 credits or 3-4 classes worth.) This is the best way to go, as the number is not random, but has been determined to be the most easily manageable workload for a student.
It depends on the individual
But, it can vary from person to person. Some people like working all the time, and some people can handle it. So, if you really feel like you are prepared and up for more credits, then give it a go! Just don’t say I didn’t tell you so! Some people just want to get college over and done with, so they can get on to a profession. But, with the job scene like it is now, it may be smarter to stay in college as long as possible.
Archer is a freelance writer on all things college.