The average credit hours for most college students working toward a 4-year degree is 12-15 hours. A class schedule of 18 or more credit hours could be appealing for students trying to complete their degree faster.
There is nothing wrong with taking a large amount of classes, but it can damage your G.P.A. or make you miserable if you don’t plan accordingly. You should consider these external factors that could impact your ability to prosper through a semester with over 18 credit hours.
Taking too many credit hours – Class difficulty
Your first objective is finding out the workload and difficulty of your upcoming semester classes. 18 credit hours of classes that only require a few exams may be simple enough, but 12 credit hours of a professor demanding a cancer cure would be overkill for most geeks.
There are numerous ways to find this out. First, visit professor rating sites to find a synopsis of your professors. After that, retrieve a copy of the course syllabus from the professor. Review the work load and the types of assignments that the professor requires. Ask your friends if they know anything about the professor or if they know someone else who took him or her.
Taking too many credit hours – Work
Consider your employment status. Are you currently employed or looking for work? How many hours are you looking for? Do you do any other tasks that require your time?
One semester, I worked 2 months at a convenience store. I worked awkward hours that interfered with my sleeping circadian. It affected my studying and negated entire letter grades off my final grade on courses. Had I not resigned from the job sooner, my grades could have plummeted more. The person who sat next to me even commented on my improved appearance after I quit.
Now I could have continued… but why put myself through it? Unless the position is paying quality wages, then education should be more important. Working too many hours or inconsistent shifts can become a massive detriment to your studying and test-taking ability.
Take care of yourself, or your grades could be affected.
Taking too many credit hours -Commuting
Don’t forget to account for commuting. If you have courses four days per week via a 30-minute drive, that’ll be 4 hours that you’ll be driving instead of studying, sleeping, working, leisure, or etc. Account for additional trips to the library for studying if you can’t do it while you’re on campus for classes.
Taking too many credit hours – Holidays
It’s critical that you consider this for the fall semester. Do you have any part-time gigs set up during this time? Will you be looking for seasonal employment for the holidays? Will the holiday impact your ability to study throughout November and especially December?
You won’t care when the semester begin, but you don’t want too many interferences during finals. If you have 18 or more credit hours, you probably have to study for 6 or more final exams. Can you handle 6 full-book exams over one week when you’re working 20-30 hours per week over the holiday?
Think ahead. Don’t ruin a successful semester because of one week from poor planning at the semester’s beginning. Don’t let finals or the holidays ruin your G.P.A. for the semester.
Taking too many credit hours – Entertainment
Are you going to grind out four months of aggressive studying without giving yourself any fun time? Unless you love college, you’ll be miserable. Low morale will lead you to rush your studies and make careless errors. Low morale will corrupt your overall classroom performance and final grade in the course. You must find time to enjoy your self, even soul search.
Do you hang out with your friends often or have any hobbies you’re committed too, i.e. bands or working out? Be aware of how these things will affect you when challenging yourself to take 18 credit hours or more.
Taking too many credit hours – Partying
If you’re a weekday partier, you need to do one of two things: don’t party on days before classes, or don’t schedule classes in the A.M. hours. Consider only scheduling the 3-hour evening classes if you party into the morning. What’s worse than the university’s most monotonous professor? A pop quiz over hangovers.
Taking too many credit hours – Family
Do you have a family? Do you have children who’ll need more attention? Don’t burden yourself with 18+ hours of credit hours if .it’ll be a detriment to your family or your child’s upbringing. You should still have enough time to take care of your family because they’re the reason you’re getting your degree anyway.
Taking too many credit hours – Senioritis
You had it in high school…you’ll have it in college. You’ll slack off until the last minute and complete your assignment below your usual standards because all you care about is passing your final classes and starting life.
That was high school. You probably have more responsibilities now (i.e. job) and time flies with age. The busier your outside life is, the more you could stray from your college assignments. You’ll get them done, but your G.P.A. could take a minor dump before graduation.
Beware of senioritis.
You’ve been warned about taking too many credit hours
Before taking over 15 credit hours and attempting 18 or more, you need to research the courses you are planning to attend. If they have a reasonable workload, then consider all of your external factors. If your semester’s schedule won’t interfere with the commitments of your family, leisure, work, holidays, and friends, then you might not be taking too many classes.
If you do take too many classes, you could be miserable mentally, physically, and psychologically. Plan patiently and don’t overburden yourself. If you want to finish in 4 years but need to take extra courses, then consider summer classes for catching up, not rushing through them.
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