College Q&A: Class Overload

College. Sigh. It’s unlike any other time in your life. It has its own set of rules, its own unique circumstances. And it’s not always easy to navigate. Everyone needs a little guidance now and then (or always) so we’ve pulled together a variety of perspectives (the does-it-all girl, the party girl and Ms. Study Lounge) to weigh in on your life conundrums and give you the best advice we can.

Every week they’ll be tackling your questions about college. From classes to keggers to keggers before classes, they’ll do their best to respond and be your Pez dispenser of collegiate wisdom. Got questions? Unsure of a decision? Just wanna chat it up with some really awesome chics?

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Help! It took me forever to choose a major and now that I have, I have a lot of catching up to do. Like, a lot. I’m reworking my schedule for next semester right now and I’m not sure if I should load on the classes (and take a full 18 credits) and really struggle through all the reading and writing (I’m a History major), or take an easier load and stick around for Spring/Summer term. I need to get these classes out of the way – I just don’t know if it’s better to struggle during the year or give up my summer to ease the load.

Busy Bee:
Well, first of all, congrats on choosing a major. That’s a major (no pun intended) milestone in your college career and finally puts you on track for your future. That being said, there are pros and cons to both situations. With the economy the way it is right now, grades and extracurricular activities are super important for getting a job. If taking on 18 credits prevents you from doing other things – like taking a leadership role in a student group – you may want to save some classes for the summer. And the same thing goes for your GPA. Too many classes may mean lower grades in all of them, which really isn’t worth it in the end. On the flip side, if you aren’t in any student groups yet (shame on you!), but were planning on getting an internship/related job this summer, pack the classes in now so you can add that important experience to your resume.

Party Girl:
I know that changing majors can be stressful and make you feel like you should be spending all of your time playing catch up. But honestly, college is just as much about the experience as it is about the grades and classes and if you cram your schedule so full of work that you have no time to enjoy your time as a college student, you’re going to be one unhappy camper. While all your friends are going out on weekends and making lifelong memories, you’re going to be stuck in the library reading history books and living vicariously through their Facebook albums. Take an easier load and stick around for the summer session to make up what you’ve missed. All the fun you’ll have with your college friends will totally be worth a summer semester of catching up. And, honestly, summer semester rocks. You get to be on campus and an easy schedule, meaning you get that much more time to enjoy the fun side of things.

GPA Girl:
Looks like neither option is going to be a picnic, so you’re going to have to choose what you think would be best for you. How do you do under pressure? Be honest with yourself. If you work hard and always have, you’re familiar with your track record and know you could get through a really tough semester. But if it’s more manageable for you to take fewer credits spread out over a longer period of time, there’s no shame in that (even if it does mean giving up your summer). Plus, keep this in mind – you won’t exactly be “giving up” your summer. I’m sure you won’t be the only person sticking around during that time, and you might even have the opportunity to make some really great new friends whom you wouldn’t have met during the normal school year. There’s more good news in that you finally have chosen a major, so the new classes you take should theoretically cover material that you’ll enjoy. So to summarize, if you do well with pressure, feel free to cram it all in, but please don’t spread yourself too thin. There are definite advantages to taking your time!

You got a question? Send it over and our experts will help you out.

Thanks a Lot, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Thanks a Lot, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
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