Freshman Year: Chaos ensues

Chaos ensues and orientation is soon so here’s my new thread for everyone who’s been following my journey! God help me if I make this a continuing saga- I think the mods would be facepalming if I did that. CC domination is not on my list. Okay now to tag some people- the rest can trickle in: (sorry in advance)- @AustenNut, @DramaMama2021, @cinnamon1212, @Catcherinthetoast, @blossom, @thumper1 , @Tigerle

that’s all I’ll tag, pf. /grinning

Updates: I graduated!! That was pretty awesome. /happily

I took the placement exams for Chem and French (…scores weren’t great but it’s okay. I’ll improve.) /happily, then sheepish

Orientation is so soon! I know I said I’d wait to make this thread… and then I didn’t. /happily, wheezing

writing a novel so that’s fun too /happily

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more as the weeks go by, but this won’t be super heavily updated til things get rolling. /warmly


Awesome news!

I would respectfully suggest that as a soon to be college student and Boston native you watch the movie Good Will Hunting and embrace one of its key messages which is to go live your life and find happiness.

In other words don’t waste energy updating us (as much as it is great for us to hear). I would much rather (and I mean this kindly) never hear from you again because you are having such an enriching and happy experience that you simply don’t have the time to return.

With that said you will always be welcome as you clearly have a huge CC fan club.


I got the memo. I’ll update occasionally then. Or at least, try.


What actually happened with placement exams? Do you have a foreign lang req? Do you need to start from scratch with foreign language? If you did not place well in French, i urge you to start over with Spanish. Much easier, and more useful in medicine in the US.

What happened with chem? You can start with first yr general college chem, right? That is the norm, and you had not taken a chem AP exam, I recall.

1 Like

I did up to AP French in HS, and then started ASL 1 + 2 in my senior year- so basically I did French 3 and French 4 Honors in Freshman year, didn’t do a language class sophomore year, placed into AP French after studying for that year in junior year, and then this past year I did ASL 1 + 2 Honors. Note I place in C1-C2 for everything except my writing skills- ended up qualifying for the Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction if it wasn’t for my writing score. /sheepish

So I got a B1 overall for French (Intermediate French 1 for NEU) in the placement exam, which is okay given I haven’t done French for a year and my reading is solid- it tested just my reading and grammar, and my mistakes were in the grammar section. /thoughtful

I’m doing a minor in French, so I’m planning on sticking with it. Plus an easy class would do me good. /thoughtful

Chem I got a 14/30… so I have to practice. A lot. Granted I took Honors Chem in sophomore year, so I haven’t done it in a while. /sheepish

How are these placement tests used? Do you need to place out of 2 years of college French to fulfill a language requirement? I know you say that you intend to minor in French, so it sounds as if you don’t mind that it sounds as if you’ll only get put into first semester of 2nd year college French, correct?

I don’t understand why you’re testing in Chemistry. You are planning on med school, you would normally take a full year of general Chem, and a full year of Orgo, both with labs, as med school prereqs. I never heard of a Chem placement test for general Chem, and a premed would not want to do a challenge exam for a med school prereq. Can you explain what’s going on?


They’re used to help place us in the correct class level, for schedules. That’s what they told us. /thoughtful

And yeah, the Intermediate French 1 class is below what I’ve already taken but it’ll just be a refresher course, essentially. /sighing

And for the Chem placement, they required all Biology/STEM majors to take it. I’m a combined Biology/English major, so I was required to take it. So… that’s what’s going on. /sighing

I’m assuming you would take French, general Chem with lab, and two other classes first semester - maybe a Freshman English type class, maybe a math class? Watch out about taking two sciences with lab at the same time. I know you’re probably eager to dive into Bio, but since you’re absolutely sure that you want premed, and since premed requires two years of chem, and since Bio requires a bit of chem, but not the other way around, it absolutely makes sense to start off with chem. Also, watch out about taking more than 4 classes plus one lab. More than that would be too heavy a load. Most importantly, find out whatever you can about which are the best profs, and try to maneuver your way into courses with profs with great reviews from students.

Are they going to have you take a math placement test?

1 Like

According to my Canvas schedule (no they haven’t officially given me a schedule but here’s the sample schedule they’ve told me that is given to most students.

Biology and English Typical First Semester Course Schedule

  • BIOL 1000 Biology at Northeastern
  • BIOL 1107/1108 Foundations of Biology w/ lab
    CHEM 1161/1162/1163 General Chemistry for Science Majors w/lab and recitation
  • ENGW 1111 First-Year Writing
  • ENGL 1400 Introduction to Literary Studies

And add my Intermediate French 1 class that I placed into. /sheepish at the placement level

That’s for first semester, but I’m sure they’ll change it so I don’t have two labs. /thoughtful

1 Like

Checking for clarity. Are you saying you would be taking TWO biology and TWO English classes your first semester. If so…why is that?

I…don’t know? It’s just been given to me as my sample schedule for now. Maybe it’ll be reduced or something similar when I actually get my official schedule, but this is what they gave me. /a bit confused, honest

The first Biology course is a seminar class to the best of my knowledge, the second one is an actual lecture class. Same goes for the first English class- it’s a seminar writing class, second one is lecture-style, as far as I’ve checked. /shrugging

1 Like

I thought you were requesting a reduced schedule of three courses per semester for medical reasons? This seems like a very heavy schedule.


Yeah… spoke to my folks and I guess I decided to do a regular courseload? Yes, it was my decision- I simply weighed the pros and cons and made my own opinion on the matter. Plus I’d have to take classes over the summer to catch up on classes/credits if I did a reduced courseload and I don’t think I’d want to do that. /sheepishly

I looked up the workload for the classes you listed and it is 20 hours a week. Is that typical for northeastern? I know at my sons’s colleges 16 hours is considered standard.

And that’s without the French class.

You really shouldn’t attempt this much work especially your first semester.


From Northeastern’s course catalog

BIOL 1000. Biology at Northeastern. (1 Hour)

Introduces first-year students to the major and the field of biology and to the professional and academic resources available to students at Northeastern University; acquaints students with their faculty, advisors, and fellow students; provides an initial orientation to undergraduate research, cooperative education, and other experiential learning options; helps develop the academic skills necessary to succeed; provides grounding in the culture and values of the university community; and assists in interpersonal skill development—in short, familiarizes students with the resources and skills needed to become a successful university student.

BIOL 1107. Foundations of Biology. (4 Hours)

Introduces evolutionary principles, cellular structure and function, genetic transmission, energy pathways, and physiology. Covers current topics in biology and evaluates and discusses current scientific literature. Explores the interdisciplinary nature of biology. Offers students an opportunity to prepare for the topical inquiries in biology courses.

Corequisite(s): BIOL 1108

BIOL 1108. Lab for BIOL 1107. (1 Hour)

Accompanies BIOL1107. Includes various lab experiments that emphasize evolutionary principles, cellular structure and function, genetic transmission, energy pathways, and physiology.

Corequisite(s): BIOL 1107

CHEM 1161. General Chemistry for Science Majors. (4 Hours)

Introduces the principles of chemistry, focusing on the particulate nature of matter and its interactions and reactions that form the basis for the underlying molecular dynamics of living systems. Presents basic concepts of chemical bonding and intermolecular interactions for molecules and molecules’ behavior in aqueous solutions with examples from biologically relevant molecules. Introduces kinetics and chemical thermodynamics with examples from biological systems. Offers students an opportunity to obtain a framework for understanding the chemical basis for different methods for separating and purifying biological compounds.

Corequisite(s): CHEM 1162, CHEM 1163

Attribute(s): NUpath Natural/Designed World

CHEM 1162. Lab for CHEM 1161. (1 Hour)

Accompanies CHEM 1161. Introduces basic laboratory techniques. Covers a range of topics including qualitative and quantitative analysis and the characteristics of chemical and physical processes.

Corequisite(s): CHEM 1161, CHEM 1163

ENGW 1111. First-Year Writing. (4 Hours)

Designed for students to study and practice writing in a workshop setting. Students read a range of texts in order to describe and evaluate the choices writers make and apply that knowledge to their own writing and explore how writing functions in a range of academic, professional, and public contexts. Offers students an opportunity to learn how to conduct research using primary and secondary sources; how to write for various purposes and audiences in multiple genres and media; and how to give and receive feedback, to revise their work, and to reflect on their growth as writers.

ENGL 1400. Introduction to Literary Studies. (4 Hours)

Introduces the diverse fields that comprise literary studies for English majors and minors. Surveys the methods and topics of English literary and textual studies, including a wide range of media (e.g., images, film, and graphic narrative). Explores strategies for reading, interpreting, and theorizing about texts, including how race, gender, sexuality, class, and colonialism are represented in literary texts, other media, and scholarship. Focuses on developing skills in thinking analytically, writing clearly about complex ideas, and conducting research.

*Edited to add:
So here is the list from the catalog for Biology English Combined Majors


I would hope you are working with an advisor perhaps knowledgable about your needs when it comes to your class schedule. Are you already connected with the disability office? Have you researched tutoring options? I ask about the tutoring in particular because this is a wonderful resource available to all students, but at some places needs to be accessed very early or it’s filled.

You want to make sure you are using all resources available to you to guarantee your college success.


BIOL 1000 is a 1 credit introduction to major and career directions. BIOL 1107/1108 (4+1 credits) is the introductory biology course for biology majors.

ENGW 1111 (4 credits) is first year writing.

ENGL 1400 (4 credits) is an introductory literature course for English majors.

CHEM 1161/1162/1163 (4+1+0 credits) is a one semester general chemistry course for biology and chemistry majors. Students can start organic chemistry the following semester.

FRNH 2101 is a 4 credit course. If you add that to the above, you will go from 19 to 23 credits, which is significantly more work than the usual 15-16 credit course load, especially with lab courses.

You are unlikely to avoid two labs in a future semester between biology, chemistry, and physics courses.


I’ve been registered with the DRC since the beginning of my campus transfer fight, so they’re already well aware of who I am. /warmly

…thank you for reminding me to check what types of tutoring are available on campus. I’ll do that soon. /sheepishly

1 Like

I’m not exactly sure when I’ll start that French class, maybe they’ll move it so I’m not overworking myself the first year. I’ll have to ask my academic advisor about when I’ll take my courses for my French minor. /thoughtful, musing

We meet with our advisors between late June to early August, over the course of the summer, to discuss scheduling, so I’ll touchbase about all of it as soon as I meet with them. /sighing

I’ll try to not burn myself out. /sheepish

1 Like

To clarify: you are planning on a double major and a minor?

1 Like