Credits, Credits, and More Credits!

Time Management That Is Suitable for a Busy College Student – BSLC

As a university freshman coming from high school, the concept of ‘credits’ and ‘individualized courseload’ are initially frightening, but do not worry. A credit is a term often interchanged with hours because the more credits a course is, the more time consuming it is in regards to workload and meeting times. 

  • For example, my organic chemistry class is 4 credits
    • 4 credits = 4 hours per week in ‘class’ [due to Covid, Zoom, and Webex are used to host our lectures] 
    • For a 4 credit hour class, a minimum of 12 hours of studying outside of class is expected

When registering for classes, the course load per semester is going to vary due to several factors: 

A typical semester for an incoming full-time student expecting to graduate in 4 years with a Bachelor’s degree (in 1 major) includes 15 credits. These 15 credits can be distributed any way that you see fit– this is the beauty of an American degree! Depending on your major as well, a biology freshman’s semester will look and feel a lot different from a criminal justice freshman’s semester– finding the right amount of space on your plate to handle will get easier with time and the help of your advisors. 

If you are starting at UC but virtually /online and back home, your work ethic and motivation might increase or decrease. In my personal experience, my motivation increased because I kept my goal in place and focused on doing what I could at this time. For example, I am on a pre-med track and so my first semester (back in 2019) I got a hold of amazing opportunities at the hospital. By being a full-time student and volunteering at the hospital, my time was split; however, I learned more about myself in that position than I ever could sitting in a lecture hall. Being back home, the hospital is taken out of the equation and I am presented purely with my courses- this motivates me to do my absolute best. Taking more than 15 credits is possible, but it is only allowed and suggested to students who can prove that their GPA won’t suffer. 

Every individual has their preference on how much, when, and how they work. Personally, I am a meticulous planner, my Google Calendar has my day mapped out to the minute! I strongly recommend some form of planning when transitioning into university because there are going to be so many details and due dates that you don’t want to say ‘I will remember that’.

Before your new semester starts, I encourage you to play around with online planners: Google Calendar , , myHomework , and Notion, to just name a few. Even if you have been a ‘write it down’ person your whole academic life, the influx of information and key takeaways that you will need to keep track of in college are going to be much easier to handle via a synchronous online platform. 

My biggest tip for succeeding in university is to know yourself. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Do I study best alone or in a group? 
  • Do I have X amount of time to dedicate to this course? 
  • Do I work best in the morning or in the evening? 
  • Do I know who to reach out to when I have questions? 
  • Do I have a final goal I want to obtain? 

I wish you the best of luck on this journey; I know you will do great! 

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