As a college student, you likely want to learn and challenge yourself while also enjoying your university experience. Unfortunately, there can be a thin line between a challenging schedule and one that is simply too much for you to handle. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to enjoy a fun, challenging university experience without taking on a schedule that’s too difficult.
It is a good idea to become friends with upperclassmen or even people who have recently graduated, especially those with your same major. Ask them what classes and teachers are the most difficult. Get their advice on courses that should or should not be taken together. Don’t just ask one or two students. The more people you ask, the better idea you will get of the difficulty of a specific teacher or class.
One of the most important things you can do as a student is to plan ahead. If you know that your major requires you to take two or three hard classes, don’t procrastinate or try to take them all at once. You may even want to create a timeline of when you want to take specific courses. While it is great to enjoy a challenging schedule, you do not want to feel overwhelmed or get lower grades simply because you cannot handle the course load.
Be Honest with Yourself
As a new student, you may not have known your academic limits. After a semester or two, though, you likely got a feel for what you can handle. If you know taking two specific classes during the same term is going to be too much for you to handle, don’t try to take on both courses at once even if your friend or roommate took them both at the same time.
Be Willing to Challenge Yourself
While you should not overwhelm yourself with a course load that’s too hard, part of your college experience is about challenging yourself. When trying to decide between two classes, take the harder one or the one that’s outside your comfort zone once in a while. The best way to grow as a college student is to challenge yourself.
Of course, what constitutes as challenging but enjoyable differs for everyone. Don’t be afraid to take on big challenges and to really test your limits. College is a unique experience, and you don’t want to leave wishing that you’d challenged yourself more or stepped outside of your comfort zone a little more often.