Comparing Course Loads
|Credit Load||Classes||Hours of Student Work per Week||Recommended Freshman Load?|
|12||4 classes||24-36 hours||Yes|
|15||5 classes||36-45 hours||Yes|
|18||6 classes||45-54 hours||No|
|21||7 classes||54-63 hours||No|
As the table shows, taking 18 credits is above the recommended freshman load. It is considered a heavy course load that can lead to burnout and other negative effects on students.
FAQs About Taking 18 Credits A Semester
What are the downsides of taking 18 credits a semester?
Taking on too much can lead to feeling overwhelmed, which can cause stress or burnout. It can also leave little time for extracurricular activities, socializing, or having a job, which can limit future career prospects. Additionally, it can negatively impact grades if the workload is too much to handle.
Can taking 18 credits benefit me at all?
While taking 18 credits is risky, it can help students graduate faster and save money on tuition. It can also be an opportunity for students to challenge themselves and develop time management skills.
How can I cope with a heavy course load?
To manage a heavy course load, it’s important to create a schedule that prioritizes studying and utilizes free time wisely. Time management skills are key in preventing burnout and excessive stress. It can also be helpful to seek support from peers, professors or campus resources for academic, personal or mental health reasons.
Why 18 Credits Isn’t Always Positive
It’s understandable that students might want to push themselves to excel, but taking on too much can be detrimental to their academic and personal well-being.
First and foremost, it can become overwhelming trying to balance multiple courses’ study time, assignments, and exams. The extra workload can also affect a student’s finances by reducing their work hours or taking up time they could spend networking for future job opportunities. It can also limit their ability to participate in extracurricular activities that can round out their college experience and boost their resume for future employers.
Excessive course loads can also negatively impact a student’s grades. The University of South Florida conducted a study on grade point averages that found “students who took 15+ credit hours performed worse academically than their peers who took fewer credit hours.” This is because it is difficult to devote enough time and effort to all the classes when they are all at advanced levels of study. Even for the most diligent students, it is challenging to maintain a similarly high level of performance across all courses.
Taking 18 credits can be a daunting task and one that most college students should avoid if possible. While it might seem like it’s better to finish college faster, it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits before overloading yourself. By creating a schedule and making smart choices for your course load, you can manage your academic and personal life with ease.