How Many Classes Should you REALLY Take Freshman Year?

This is a guest post by the Honest College intern Megan Simpson.

Coming from an English major, my opinion may vastly differ from those of Science and Math majors, but I feel like I had a pretty good grip on my freshman year, which has made me confident enough in myself to give you kiddos some advice. Well… let’s call them “college-educated guesses.”

At my university, the recommend amount of units (keep in mind, babies, that one class is USUALLY three units… unless it’s a dance class or something) for a freshman is 12-15. That’s four or five classes, for those of you keeping score at home. Now, my first semester, I got away with four classes. Actually, most people I know did. But for some reason, that doesn’t seem to fly second semester. When I say that, I mean with your peers. Having four classes second semester was almost a cop-out.

Image credit: flickr

The real answer to this question, like nearly ever other college question, is basically: it depends. If you have a horribly difficult major and all of your classes are equivalent to junior and senior level, TAKE FOUR. I don’t care what anyone says, you deserve it (if only they knew…) If you know you can handle more classes (maybe you have a inter mural basketball class for one unit thrown in there) then take more. Keep in mind that you school may have a “cap” on how many classes you’re allowed to take. At Chapman, if you take three or fewer classes, you’re considered a “part-time student.” To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what that entails, but if you get flack for taking four classes, imagine how much you’ll get for going to school “part-time” (if you aren’t, in fact, a part-time student, of course!) There may also be a limit to how many classes you can take. As a freshman, I often heard rumors about eight being the limit, but many also said it was six. Find out from a professor or a student advisor–it’s not always best to take your floor mates’ advice for EVERYTHING.

Now, I really don’t think I gave you all any more information than you already knew. I’m sorry about that. When it comes to classes, everything is relative to the kid taking them. Hopefully by now, you know your limit and what you can and can’t do. Save “pushing yourself” for next semester–maybe even next year. Getting into the “swing of things” in college is essential. I promise that you’ll be sorry if you bite off more than you can chew. That reminds me, I need to do a post on the Freshman Fifteen…

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