How to Avoid Course Overload

When I was a college student, I got myself into a couple of jams where my eyes were bigger than my brain. In the first instance, I was a fresh-faced frosh who didn’t really understand the college experience. So, too smart by half, I decided to sign up for 18 hours of courses in my first semester at school.

Now, this might have been acceptable load for some students, but at that point in my academic career, it was definitely a bad move. Within my first couple of weeks, I was already burned out on coursework.

I quickly realized this schedule was untenable, so I re-evaluated the classes I was taking. I figured out I was in a calculus course I didn’t need because of my choice of major and my score on the math portion of an aptitude test prior to college.

Fortunately, it was still early enough in the semester to drop the course. I contacted Student Services and managed to get out of it.

In the second instance, I was a more seasoned junior and thought that by this point, I really knew how to set up a good semester. So, I signed up for a seemingly safe 15 hours of classes.

The problem was, I had just started to get into the harder 300- and 400-level courses for my major. Because I was studying history, this meant a great deal more research and writing than I was used to. But an…

Brian Summerfield


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