Overwhelmed by credits and curriculum

Overwhelmed by credits and curriculum

Kelly Smith

Do you happen to know someone who takes a boatload of credits hoping to get ahead of the game only to become stressed out down the road, maybe even having to drop classes? Why is that? Isn’t taking more credits a good thing? I mean, it might help them graduate earlier, right? 

This is true, taking a few more credits per semester does mean it’s possible to graduate slightly earlier, but there are other factors that need to be considered before that leap is made. 

First of all, let me point out that different majors have different requirements, some more than others. As an education major, I have a tentative schedule of five years of classes. Some may need only four years, while others might need six or more. Therefore, deciding to take extra classes doesn’t necessarily guarantee an earlier graduation.

Now on to the important issues. There are two main considerations when deciding on your workload for any given semester: durability and cost. A busier schedule means more work that you are responsible for. This means more homework, more tests to study for, more projects to focus on, more essays to write and more time spent going to all of these classes. Is this something you are willing to commit to? Think about it.

There’s also the cost that must be considered. Any additional credits beyond 15 cost extra money per credit. The first question to ask yourself is if you have enough money to be able to meet your first payment deadline. You only have until 5 p.m. on the first Friday of classes. If you do commit to the extra classes, remember that you don’t get a full refund after the payment deadline if you decide to drop. It’s very fortunate that we have the ability to drop a class for about the first half of the semester, but keep in mind that it’s not a full refund due to the fact that you have been attending classes to that point. 

Can you just imagine having to drop a class and realizing that you’ve spent money on this class that you might still have to pay to take again in the future anyway? Not a very pleasant thought, is it?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to discourage people from taking more than 15 credits in a semester. In fact, I’ve taken at least 16 credits every semester so far. I’m just saying to be smart in deciding your workload. I have a friend from my hometown who I still see from time to time. She’s told me about some of her adventures, such as having three overdue papers. I’m not bagging on her, but she has told me several times how she doesn’t understand how I can take 16 credits or more a semester.

Use your knowledge of how you handle work when deciding on your schedule for the semester. Regardless of what your major is, everyone has an adviser to consult. This is what they’re here for, to help us through our college career. Feel free to ask them for help, but in the end, the choice is yours. Know your limits, and stick to them.