Location: New York --> Washington University in St. Louis '15
5 hours of class in a row?
Hi everyone! I'm a rising sophomore and I'm thinking of changing some of my classes. To change to the classes that I really want (assuming I could get off the waitlist as number 2), I'd have to take 5 hours of class in a row 3 days a week, starting at 9am, but I'd have Tuesday and Thursday completely free every other week, and 3 hours of them in a row are science classes. I'm mainly concerned because I wouldn't be able to eat anything between 9 and 2 but I also don't know how well my attention span will hold for 5 hours. Thoughts? Does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks!
I had (almost) six hours of class in a row. Technically speaking, I had a half hour break, but given that my first class was a studio, it would run over or I would need to stay later so it sometimes became six. It's manageable, but it definitely takes a bit to adjust to (and a trip to schnuks for snacks to get you through, because you can eat in some classes). I wouldn't recommend it if you can avoid it, but it happens and if it could make your life easier later when you're even less motivated, it's probably better.
As for easy classes, try American Politics. It's basically a rehash of a high school AP US Government class, and the professor is amazing so you actually wanna go to lecture to hear him speak (he tells the greatest stories about his life).
The introduction to micro/macroeconomics course sequence in arts and sciences was pretty easy in my books. I've heard Cultural Anthro/The American School are also easy too. Introduction to Logic in the philosophy school will also be really easy if you've taken CSE240.
It depends on how much you think you can handle. Next semester I go from 11:30 to 7 on Tu/Th with no breaks in between (6 1.5 hour classes). The flip side of that coin is I have MWF off.
From personal experience, once I got past the 4th class, I stopped retaining things and started to have to reread notes. So you'll have to determine how much you can take before you get bored senseless.
Your classes are 4 + 4 + 3 + 3 + 1 = 15 credits, if I can remember freshman credit distributions correctly. 15 is average as TheFallenOne said. If you find that you can manage 15 credits in your first semester, try for a little more. If you find yourself overwhelmed, then you might need to manage your time better, since you need an average of 15 credits a semester to hit the 120 mark, unless you transfer loads of credit.
Your drop/withdraw question was answered in your other thread, but it's fast to answer, so here you go: Drop (D) = dropping before the drop deadline and does not show up on your transcript. Withdraw (W) = dropping after the drop deadline and a W shows up on your transcript. Only use the latter if you will get a low grade that you want to avoid. The drop deadline is usually a week or so after classes begin.
As for 20+ being crazy, depends on the person. For most, yes... but I know a Chemistry/Physics/Biology triple major who has been going 21 credits a semester since freshman year. That's disgusting imo, but since he's smart, he can pull it off.
Also, if you take stuff like violin or piano lessons, those still count as credits... and you can definitely go 18 "real" credits and 3 "easy" credits like those and still hit 21. So not that crazy. :P
The general rule of thumb is "for every credit hour, expect 3 hours of work outside of class each week." In other words 9 hours for the typical 3 credit course.
It should be noted, however, that this is not all that good a rule. I've taken 5 credit courses where I spent 5 hours outside of class each week (a third of what te rule implies), yet have had 2 credit classes where I've spent upwards of 12 a week. (cough bio 3058 cough).
Not sure how much time Chem/Chem lab will take up, since I transferred those from another school. If I were to guess... probably 8-9 hours a week actually, since everyone flips out about it.
Physics didn't take me long at all (3 hours a week for each problem set) and lab was similarly straightforward, I just went in, did the lab, worked on it for an hour or two outside of lab, then turned it in.
Calc 3 will just be Webwork? (online homework) that didn't take that long (at most 3 hours per problem set for me)
Exempted from writing 1, but my roommate didn't spend much on it, maybe 2-3 hours per assignment.
Don't know what your freshman seminar is, but since it's a seminar, maybe 1 hour a week? I took a computer science seminar that ended up being just sit there and listen to new projects professors are doing.
All in all, you're looking at 19-22 hours of work a week (in my books). That boils down to about 3 hours a day.
I also thought the general rule was that for every credit hour, expect 1 hour of work outside of class, not 3. Guess I was wrong? Following the 1 credit/1 hour rule, it matches up for me.
Do what's right for you. If you need more time, take it. If not, go have fun. It's freshman year. A lot of fun to be had.