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College Confusion
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Author:  Miss Friendship [ Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:33 pm ]
Post subject:  College Confusion

So peoples. MF needs college advice from the experts*, since as usual, she runs headfirst towards something before knowing exactly what's happening. I haz quite a few questions. Like, what are the normal amount of credits per semester for a full time student? And, how many hours average a week does one need for homework? What type of things about college as a newcomer do you wish you would have known?

Resident experts: Tea Ess, Tiger, Belle, and Others Who My Brain Has Forgotten

(Online college does not count, Ox)

I look forward to as much information that you can throw my way.

Author:  Jo March [ Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

I can't be helpful, just to be helpful LOL I ditto what she says for in about 5 years haha

Author:  TigerShadow [ Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

Miss Friendship wrote:
Like, what are the normal amount of credits per semester for a full time student?


Fifteen. That's usually five classes, with three credit hours per class. I don't know how they do it where you're attending, but at my university, you have to be taking at least twelve credit hours to be considered full-time.

Miss Friendship wrote:
And, how many hours average a week does one need for homework?


Depends on the class; in my basic gen-ed classes, I didn't really need to put in that much effort and got As in all of them, but in the higher-level classes more focused in my major I had to put in a few more hours a week. I remember one of my drawing professors had a rule that we had to do nine hours of drawing homework per week—he took how many times the class met and multiplied by the number of credit hours (two nights per week times three credit hours) and then added half of that total to get nine hours. But that may not be reflective of your teachers' expectations; it's less about how many hours you spend working and more about whether or not you do the best work you can on the assignment within the given time period.

If you're struggling, make sure you ask the professor for help—you can utilize their office hours, ask them after class, or shoot them an e-mail. There will probably also be on-campus tutoring services you can look into, and if all else fails or you need help in a pinch, Google is your friend.

Miss Friendship wrote:
What type of things about college as a newcomer do you wish you would have known?


Can't really say there's a lot I wish I'd known; more like "good advice I should have taken into account". I kind of coasted during my freshman year because the classes were pretty easy, but I couldn't do that this past semester because I was in some harder, upper-level courses. I should have really taken it seriously that these classes were hard because I was learning new skills, and everything wouldn't come naturally to me.

Author:  Tea Ess [ Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

Miss Friendship wrote:
So peoples. MF needs college advice from the experts*, since as usual, she runs headfirst towards something before knowing exactly what's happening. I haz quite a few questions. Like, what are the normal amount of credits per semester for a full time student? And, how many hours average a week does one need for homework? What type of things about college as a newcomer do you wish you would have known?

Resident experts: Tea Ess, Tiger, Belle, and Others Who My Brain Has Forgotten

(Online college does not count, Ox)

I look forward to as much information that you can throw my way.

As far as credits go, I'd say it's pretty dependent on your situation, like whether you'll also be working, what classes you're taking, and when you want to graduate. Working while taking classes was something I never had to deal with, but I knew people who did. I went to a college with over 15,000 students, but my major only had a couple hundred students.

At my college, 12 credits was the minimum you could take in order to be a full time student, and 15 was considered "normal," since it was the average credit amount per semester you needed to graduate in 4 years. The right amount of credits depends a lot on the specific classes, since there are some introductory courses that won't take as much time, and other classes with more time-consuming subject material, or that cover things you're not as comfortable with. A 3 credit Physical Education class (which was required at my college) is probably going to be wayyyy easier than a 3 credit Calculus class. There are also some professors who are super big on busywork and think that their Introduction to Musical Appreciation 101 class should be your #1 priority in life and they assign homework accordingly. Ideally you can find out who those professors are in advance and avoid their courses to neutralize that threat in advance. More on that later.

As far as planning time for homework, my dad's guideline (or rather my grandfather's guideline which was passed down to my dad) was to budget 2 hours of study time for every hour of class time. So if you took 14 credit hours, you'd allot 28 hours to study that week (on average. You'd want to lump more of that time together before an exam in that class, and less when there wasn't much to do for it). Honestly, I procrastinated a lot and didn't always apply myself like I could have, so I usually studied less than that. In my field, a lot of jobs have a requirement/strong preference for people with an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher, so as long as I got a GPA above that I was happy.

I'd say the best way to go is to overestimate the time you'll need to study to start with, make sure that you're keeping up with what you're learning in lectures (even if the professor hasn't assigned anything yet), and then re-evaluate a few weeks into the semester. By then you'll know which classes are easy/difficult for you, and how much time you realistically need to stay on top of them.

I don't know what classes you'll be taking, but it helps a ton to learn about your professors before registering for a course. RateMyProfessor can be useful if you can read between the lines and figure out if the professor is genuinely bad at teaching, or if the reviewer is just salty because they didn't show up for the final exam and failed the class. It gets easier after you have one semester under your belt and can ask other students about professors. For example, in my major, there was the enthusiastic, passionate professor who sometimes went overboard with assignments, the dry professor who was fair but didn't have very interesting lectures, and the erratic professor you avoided AT ALL COSTS because he would be totally unhelpful about anything and you would learn nothing.

Author:  Belle [ Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

*The college senior walks into the room*

*Looks at Tea who has already gradumacated.*

Well, anywho, I agree a lot with what has already been said.

As far as credits go, 12 is the minimum here, and 18 is the maximum. Most students do take 18 credits a semester though, including myself.

Homework - it really really depends on the class and the teacher. One of my accounting professors assigns homework like we literally don't have a life outside of class, and other classes had absolutely no homework whatsoever. Taking time to study will also depend on how well you know the material, but it really helps to have a first test with that professor to know what to expect. Maybe talk to fellow students who have had the teachers you're looking at, and they can give you specific tips.

Also. As a college newbie, do /NOT/ wear your lanyard around your neck. No one cool does that, only a few unwitting freshman.

The number one way to be successful in classes is to A - attend class, and B - turn in homework on time. They may seem like small things, but I have seen them be the difference between failure and success at my school. Even if the homework isn't your best work, at least turn it in on time. Sometimes professors don't even read papers but just check that you've done it.

I'll add more if I think of it.

Author:  TigerShadow [ Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

Also, some general lifestyle notes:

Everything you might have been told about how you'll TOTALLY BE PRESSURED TO DRINK AND DO DRUGS is...really overblown, especially depending on the campus you go to, and it's even more avoidable if you don't live anywhere near the frats and sororities. (Seriously, I supposedly go to a party school and I have to remind myself that people do in fact actually have parties when I travel past Greek Row and see red solo cups scattered across a couple of lawns.) The closest I've gotten to alcohol was when I was with a group of Christian friends, all of whom were legal and drinking socially and respectably, and not one of them offered me any, nor did I ask for any.

Of course, I'm also a bit of a shut-in. :P Point is, that sort of thing is avoidable; the degree to which you face limited pressure and can basically do what you want within campus rules and federal law is in direct proportion to the size of your campus and student population, but it's totally avoidable if you don't go looking for it. My grandmother was actually the secretary for the President at a Baptist college, and she always laughed when she heard people talking about how they should send their kids to a Christian college so they'd be safe and never get into trouble. As she often says from decades of experience, if a kid wants to get into trouble, they'll find it; if they don't, they won't. And I can say the same just from having gone to a public high school.

Stay rooted in the Word. Look for an on-campus ministry; I've met my absolute best friends through mine. Find a good church in the area. And it should be noted that "good" doesn't necessarily mean "exactly like the one you grew up in"; I grew up attending a huge church with a few thousand members and a massive campus with a full choir and orchestra, and I've ended up at a church housed in a YMCA with maybe a couple hundred members, and I love it.

And when I say "stay rooted in the Word", I mean study that Bible. The times when you will be the most at peace, even when everything else has gone south, will be the times when your relationship with God is consistently growing. Read the Word first thing in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Find worship music you really like, that really speaks to you and speaks Biblical truths into your mind, and listen to it on the way to class. Orient your mind around the Lord daily. You may think you've got a good handle on that, but I promise you, you don't. "Let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall".

Also, try to find a local Chick-fil-A if your campus doesn't have one. And a Starbucks. They are both magical and will probably save your life at some point.

Author:  Stella C. [ Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

I took 14 credit hours. It depends on the class for study time. I took Math 2 my freshman year and totally forgot to study for my final and I still passed with a high A in that class. It depends.

I'm with Belle, attend class and do the work! Also, wait to buy your books, that's a huge expense. You may find you really don't use it in class. I had one class with a textbook on it, I bought the book, and then the teacher said it was really only for extra reading material if you so desired -.- Look at Amazon for renting books. My roommate rented all her books that way and saved a ton of money.

And don't wear the lanyard.

Also, I agree with Tiger. Look for those ministries, be a part of them and keep studying the Word!

Author:  TigerShadow [ Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

Y'all got lanyards? Is mine the only school that isn't in on this tradition?

Author:  Belle [ Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

TigerShadow wrote:
Y'all got lanyards? Is mine the only school that isn't in on this tradition?

Not only did we get lanyards, but most people buy their own and use their own as well.

Author:  Tea Ess [ Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

My college gave out lanyards during freshman orientation. I ditched mine immediately.

Author:  TigerShadow [ Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

Huh. We just got folders full of information about the school, and then during convocation they gave us our future tassels.

Author:  Tea Ess [ Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

Giving out tassels at convocation is a really cool idea actually. I would definitely have preferred that to a lanyard.

Author:  Belle [ Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

TigerShadow wrote:
Huh. We just got folders full of information about the school, and then during convocation they gave us our future tassels.

I got a tassel too, but not my future one, I'll get another one when I graduate.

Author:  Miss Friendship [ Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

I've never had a lanyard or a tassel (whatever that is) *sniffs* I shall go to college to experience lanyards.

Thanks everyone for the responses. It helps. :yes:

@Tiger Yes, I know how important church is for the soul. I wouldn't trade mine for anything else.

TigerShadow wrote:
Everything you might have been told about how you'll TOTALLY BE PRESSURED TO DRINK AND DO DRUGS is...really overblown, especially depending on the campus you go to, and it's even more avoidable if you don't live anywhere near the frats and sororities. (Seriously, I supposedly go to a party school and I have to remind myself that people do in fact actually have parties when I travel past Greek Row and see red solo cups scattered across a couple of lawns.) The closest I've gotten to alcohol was when I was with a group of Christian friends, all of whom were legal and drinking socially and respectably, and not one of them offered me any, nor did I ask for any.

I've dealt with some of this peer pressure outside of school and it doesn't effect me. I jump on the opportunity to explain how I refrain from drugs because addiction is bondage and I'm a very free spirit and absolutely shun being controlled by anything. The look on their faces is priceless. You should try alcohol sometime... In moderation, of course. :P

Also there are no Chick-fil-A's around here. :P Am I missing something?

Belle wrote:
Also. As a college newbie, do /NOT/ wear your lanyard around your neck. No one cool does that, only a few unwitting freshman.

I don't really want to be cool, so if its annoying, maybe I'll try it. :mrgreen: :P

Author:  TigerShadow [ Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

The tassel's the little dangly thing that hangs off the edge of a mortarboard graduation cap.

The sad reality that there are people in this world that have not experienced Chick-fil-A is utterly heartbreaking to me. Find one and live there as soon as you can.

Author:  Audrey [ Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

I worked at a Chick-fil-a in TX. Minnesota has almost no Chick-Fil-A's. No joke, I picked my dorm for many reasons, but one big plus was that it was 2 minutes away from one.

And then I went there and it was TERRIBLE. Ugh. The South is stupid sometimes but gosh darn do they make good food. I was just in Georgia visiting my best internet pal and I made him drive me to Chickfila like three times.

Also: I hate lanyards and have never understood them. I would only need mine (if I wanted to) for my U card (which basically is my lifeline, without it I'm screwed), and even then I just put it in my phone case because I always have my phone on me. Don't be that person.

I did community college for three years and everyone's basically saying the necessary basics so IDK what much else to add, but: Good luck MF! I'm starting college literally tomorrow (ahhhH!!!!!!) so feel free to reach out to me (on FB or here or whatever) and we can agonize over new things together.

Author:  Miss Friendship [ Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

So I had my opening day at the college yesterday. So far, so good. However, I sat through the freshmen required "destination graduation" class and learned absolutely nothing that I didn't already know. Does this happen often during college? AM I WASTING MY TIME? :mad:

Author:  Audrey [ Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

Oh gosh, MF, we had a Welcome Week at college and it was almost all seminars and talks repeating the SAME. DARN. THINGS. It'll drive you nuts. Totally normal. Thankfully it all goes away after a week or so.

Author:  Miss Friendship [ Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

Audrey wrote:
Oh gosh, MF, we had a Welcome Week at college and it was almost all seminars and talks repeating the SAME. DARN. THINGS. It'll drive you nuts. Totally normal. Thankfully it all goes away after a week or so.

Whew, relief floods my soul. :P

Author:  Eanrin [ Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: College Confusion

I can't emphasize enough how amazing Rate My Professors is. It is a total lifesaver, and can mean the difference between a fun class and a miserable semester of busywork. The best professors usually get their sections filled up super fast, but that doesn't always mean the classroom is full (i.e., the seats are all taken); sometimes that's just the limit the professor selected for how many people they wanted in that section. If you're stuck between a good professor whose section is filled and a horrible professor, it doesn't hurt to send your preferred professor an email to see if they could squeeze you into their class; quite often, they'll be willing to make room for you. I'm not sure what your specific college's policy is, but that's been my experience so far.

And another random tidbit that's made my college correspondence a lot easier: If you ever have to send an email to one of your professors, sometimes it's hard to know what to call them. Dr., Mr., Mrs., Ms...? Some professors can be quite insulted if you refer to them as Mr./Mrs. if they have their doctorate. If you are ever faced with the quandary of how to address a professor, the insanely easy workaround is to just address them all as Professor [Lastname]. Works like a charm! \:D/

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