I'm going to be a freshman this coming fall and I'm taking 19 credits. Is this a really, REALLY stupid idea or ok? I've had my share of insane h.s. coursework (IB+AP) but everyone keeps telling me that "this is different" and "this is college," etc. I'm taking 1 English class, 1 philosophy class, and 2 film classes-- these are the subjects that I'm good at so I figure that it won't be as bad...or am I underestimating the Horribly Difficult Rigor of College?
I'll go with really stupid, or to put it a bit more diplomatically, perhaps inadvisable. Go with a standard load of 15 for the first quarter, and if seems okay, maybe up the ante. The thing with college is that while you don't get a lot of homework, you will likely have two big papers, plus a mid-term and a final. There's not a lot of feedback in your progress, like the homework has been before, so the work you do turn in is very high value. Thus, it behooves you to study more than you did in HS, and put lots of time in on those papers. Running a draft past the instructor will give you some idea of whether you are on the right track or not.
And leave a little time have some fun, take in a concert or film, and generally enjoy the riches of the campus!
For your first quarter, like the above have mentioned, 19 credits is a little extreme. I took 17 credits fall quarter of my freshman year (although 2 credits were from a pointless FIG seminar). With three classes (English 131, Math 124, and H A&S 261), I ended up doing well in two classes and worse than I'd have liked in the third class. I wasn't able to put as much time into the third class because of the amount of studying required for all three (even with IB/AP experience), and thus it hurt my GPA. Why take so many credits and risk hurting your GPA when you might also want to familiarize yourself with campus life, find an extracurricular activity you can enjoy, and have a little fun meeting other students?
I was thinking about giving it a try for 2 weeks and then dropping whichever course is the most difficult/going to give me the most trouble. Would this still be a very bad course of action to take? I don't want to suffer from overkill by any means, but I also want to be able to test how much I can handle. Do you think it would be ok for me to try it for a little bit and then make a choice from that?
Absolutely! If you've signed up for it and you're preparing for it, give it a shot. When I signed up for 17 credits for freshman fall quarter, I went in prepared to drop my Math class if the overall load became too heavy. After two weeks, I was doing very well in Math as well as my other courses so I didn't drop it. However, your feelings toward your course work at the beginning of the quarter may differ in the middle of the quarter and at the end. That would be where my grades dipped, so just be aware of that.
One word of advice though: With such a heavy load, you may not have much time for extracurricular activities, but be careful not to burn yourself out by simply studying too much. It took me about a month and a half to find the extracurricular activity that I had a passion for, and then the next problem was managing my time between the activity and my course work. Sometimes it may be a better idea to take what you know you can handle and then try taking on more down the road (i.e. experience your first quarter of college before). Anyway, give the 19 credits a shot and see how it goes. Good luck!
I'd say, sign up for the 19-credit schedule. Do what Proud Husky did, and drop one of the classes during the two-week shopping period. I don't think that there's any downside to this plan. Fall quarter, freshman year, I took 20 credits: MATH 134, PHYS 121 honors, CSE 142, ENGL 349 (science-fiction reading, lots of fun), and a one-credit seminar in combinatorics. I had a great time, and I'd do it again.
How many credit points must you be enrolled in to qualify as a full time student for each quarter?
Am I correct in thinking that it is 15 credit points?
Also, at the moment I am trying to find out when certain courses are offered (as in, which semester). If anyone could tell me where I could find out such information, I would appreciate it. At the moment I have been looking at the Computer Science course catalogue (since I am planning on doing Computer Science courses) and none of the courses seem to indicate when they will next be offered but rather, when they have been offered in the past.
I don't know when they'll post the Winter 2008 schedule, but if you look here http://www.washington.edu/students/timeschd/, you can see what's being offered in the fall, as well as what was offered last winter. Often the classes are offered for the same quarter from year to year, so last winter's schedule will give you a good idea of this winter's. You might also trying emailing the CS department administrator to find out when the winter schedule is firmed up.
I think full time is 12 credits, but double check that. Most people take 15.