Is 18 semester hours too much for a freshman in college?

<p>Hi! </p>

<p>I'm new to these forums. I've visited them before for answers, but this is my first time asking a question.</p>

<p>I graduated from high school in May, 2012, and I will be attending a community college this fall.
I took a couple of AP tests in high school, and I plan on taking Clep tests very soon, so I can finish my general ed. classes sooner. I have planned it so that I can transfer to a university in the Fall of 2013. </p>

<p>I am an A average student, and I wanted to know whether 18 hours is too much.
The classes I will be taking are as follows:</p>

<p>Microcomputer Applications (CIS 146): 3 hours
Speech (SPH 107): 3 hours
Principles of Accounting I (BUS 241): 3 hours
Music (MUS 101): 3 hours
English Lit I (ENG 261): 3 hours
Business Statistics I (BUS 261): 3 hours</p>

<p>I have these classes Monday-Thursday. Also, I don't work and I don't party.</p>

<p>Yes. 18 hours is too much as a first semester freshman.</p>

<p>Take 15 this semester. Take 18 during a later semester if you have to.</p>

<p>It’s not necessarily that the workload will be more than high school. It’s just that you’ll be in a completely different environment, and while you may be able to handle the load, you really won’t know until you get there and experience college first-hand. Everyone is different. There have been many to do so-so in high school, but do amazingly well in college just like there have been many to do extremely well in high school, but have a terrible go at college.</p>

<p>Just go for 15 this first semester and take on extra later once you’re sure you can handle it.</p>

<p>Considering three of your courses are 200-level, I would say drop one of your courses and spend the extra time socializing, joining clubs, and enjoying the new opportunities. Even if you don’t work or party, you don’t want to burn yourself out so soon in the college experience.</p>

<p>Thanks for your input guys! But I’d like a couple more answers!</p>

<p>Btw, thanks novalynnx, the 200 level thing was something I was unaware of. I knew that 101 courses are easy, but I never knew that higher numbers meant harder!</p>

<p>Also, I am going to go to Calhoun community college, and I became a “Calhoun Warhawk”, which is basically a student ambassador.</p>

<p>Is there anything that you would recommend me doing in college?</p>

<p>I just want to offer a different opinion and say I took seven classes for 18 credits my first semester and I loved it (although I didn’t get straight A’s). I liked the variety and I got a lot accomplished. I would say it’s a choice between variety vs. straight A’s, but then the next semester I took 15 credits and still didn’t get straight A’s (but my GPA still went up).</p>

<p>Bottom line, I think it really depends on if you want close to perfect grades or if taking more classes is more important to you.</p>

<p>Generally, the higher the number, the more advanced the course is in its field. For example, 100-level courses are basic, introductory courses. Level 300+ tend to be taken by juniors and seniors, although I ended up in a pretty advanced 300-level philosophy course my first semester sophomore year that had no prerequisites. They’re not always necessarily harder, but may rely on having more of a foundation whereas level 100 courses may assume little or no background knowledge.</p>

<p>In your case, Accounting 1 and Business Stats probably don’t require much background knowledge - I know I didn’t need much preparation for my stats class. So I don’t think your schedule is particularly worrisome, just a bit much if you would like to also enjoy your experience and have some free time for friends. </p>

<p>Since you’re looking to transfer, grades will be important. Also, you cannot guarantee your transfer school will accept all of your credits unless you already know what your transfer school is and they have transfer agreements with the CC. So loading up on courses may not put you as far ahead as you hope.</p>

<p>As a dad, my advice to you is to NOT take 18.</p>

<p>I had a college roomate when I was a freshman who took a very big course load, because he was all psyched up about taking biology, chemistry, physics, etc., and paid dearly for it.</p>

<p>Better to take 15 and get good grades, than to take 18 and risk getting bad grades.</p>

<p>Don’t rush things.</p>

<p>If you find yourself not busy enough with your school work, then have a good social life.</p>

<p>What AU girl said was right. You’re going to be adjusting to a whole new lifestyle, with new experiences that you’ll want to explore. There is much more freedom and time to do other things and you want to make sure you can handle both before you move up</p>

<p>Ok thank you everyone! And thank you Floridadad! It’s nice to hear from someone of a different age group.</p>

<p>And I’m sorry I didn’t mention it, but my primary goal is to keep my GPA as high as possible! I’m aiming for a 4.0, and hopefully I will be able to do so. </p>

<p>I will take 15 hours thanks to all of your advice, but is there anything else I need to know? This is my first semester of college, so I have absolutely no idea as to what college is about besides what I’ve heard.</p>

<p>Is there anything that I should prepare doing now, so I don’t regret not doing it in the future? Or anything I shouldn’t do?</p>

<p>Also, I am planning to transfer to University of Alabama in Huntsville, and they will let me in with a 3.0. In fact, the community college I will go to is the biggest in the state, and many students transfer to the same college. So they will let me in with a 3.0. But I personally want a 4.0.</p>

<p>Maybe later on (probably 1 year from now), I will ask you guys for advice once again for colleges to transfer to. I’m sure that if I maintain a 4.0 GPA, I will have more colleges to choose from.</p>

<p>My daughter took 19 credits during her first and second semesters of college and has taken 18 credits every semester since that time. The freshman classes included one or two 100 level classes each semester (3-6 credits), one 300 level class each semester (foreign language), and all the rest 200 level classes (due to AP’s, CLEP testing, etc). She did NOT have any lab sciences as a freshman though. She is in an Honors College of a large, state school and was a good student in high school. She is a quick reader, so that helped immensely. She did not work, but she did volunteer during her first year of college and still does. She was also in a variety of clubs, an intramural sport and was an officer in a student government organization. I think it depends on the student and the classes. She had friends who struggled with 12 credits and one friend who took 20 credits (mostly math and science) as a first-semester freshman. My daughter has a 3.9+ GPA, loves college, has joined a musical organization, studied abroad and enjoys keeping busy. That being said, she is not a partier. Her free time is spent watching movies with friends, attending concerts, listening to guest speakers, volunteering, working out or attending various meetings. Her biggest strength is time management. It can be done. It just depends on the student, classes, outside interests, etc. Good luck.</p>

<p>I did 19 in both my first and second semester. My first semester was entirely 100- and 200-level; my second was half upper- and half lower-level. I also spent a lot of time on ECs and had a small part-time job (only about 8 hours a week). It worked out very well for me.</p>

<p>However, I think one of the biggest reasons I was able to do that is because of the preparation I had from doing the IB Diploma. I strongly recommend starting with 15 (the only reason I did 19 the first semester was because I started with 16 and found I had time for more).</p>

<p>Thanks guys! All this is really helpful. </p>

<p>I was 90% sure on taking 15 hours. After reading the last two posts, its 50%… Back to square one!</p>

<p>Again, I am going to a community college and my goal is to transfer in one year to a university. I’m “clepping” 21 semester hours over the summer, and I took AP in high school, so I still have 34 hours to complete. I am hoping to finish 34 hours in one year, which is why the decision to choose between 15 hours and 18 hours is a big thing for me.</p>

<p>Register for them all and just stay aware of drop and withdraw deadlines.</p>


30 is typical for one year.</p>

<p>Really. I know a lot of people are saying “Well I did it and it worked out.”</p>

<p>This could be true for you. It totally could. I’m not saying it isn’t. But it could also be completely wrong for you. Really with college, it’s just a complete gamble as to how well you’ll do in adjusting. I’ll give examples of some of my close friends:</p>

<p>A) She hasn’t made a B since the seventh grade. She was in the top 5% of her graduating class of over 700. What happened to her first semester? She failed a class. She studied really, really hard. But it happened. She doesn’t party either and was really diligent.</p>

<p>B) He was an average student in high school and never took an AP courses. He’s an engineering major. He had little problems with Calculus this year and his GPA was like a 3.8. I think he made only one B.</p>

<p>So… The point is. Just consider the fact that things COULD go well for you, but you really won’t know until you get there. If you want to take 18 hours, do it second semester or take summer school. Don’t chance it all your first semester.</p>

<p>While I don’t think 18 is all that bad, If you want to do well you first semester i’d recommend dropping a class and just taking 15. Your second semester, however, 18 is perfectly reasonable. By that time you should be adjusted to the work load.</p>