How Much Should I Study?

One of the first things you’ll probably notice in the transition from high school to college is the amount of time your behind will be in a desk in a classroom. Gone are the days of sitting in class 30 to 35 hours a week. For most of you, you’ll find yourself in a classroom probably about 12 to 15 hours a week. So much time! So much freedom! So much naps!

…Or so you might think…

At most institutions, full time status is 12 credits/credit hours/units/semester hours. Most students will take anywhere between 12 and 15 credit hours in a semester, which equates to about four to five classes. Credit hours are a unit of measurement that represents the amount of time you will be in class per week. (This will vary with online or hybrid courses.) For each credit hour you enroll in, generally speaking, you should spend 2-3 hours outside of the classroom working on coursework. You could be reading, taking notes, preparing for an exam, working on a graded assignment, doing practice problems, library research, working on a group project – I’m sure there’s more!

For each credit hour you enroll in, generally speaking, you should spend 2-3 hours outside of the classroom working on coursework.

In practice, you’ll find that some classes may need a little more and others need a little less. This will depend on any prior experience with the subject matter or interest level.

Therefore, if you take 12 credit hours, you should be spending 24-36 hours outside of the classroom on your coursework. Add that to the 12 hours you’re spending IN class and you get 36-48 hours! Just on school! Going to school full-time is equivalent to having a full-time job.

So, as you’re contemplating that part-time job or leadership responsibilities in your extracurriculars, take a few moments to think about how much time you’ll realistically be able to contribute to out-of-class work. Will your new responsibilities take valuable study time away from your school work? Do you have a plan for how to manage your time effectively? Do you have enough time budgeted for rest and self-care?

So what do you think – were you surprised at the amount of time you should be committing to your coursework? Do you spend the recommended amount of time on coursework out of class?

7 Things to Bring to Orientation

Every year during Orientation, I see students that always look so uncomfortable. I mean, granted, being at Orientation can be an uncomfortable experience, what with all the ice breakers and having to talk to and be around people you don’t know. That’s not the kind of discomfort I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is physical discomfort – let’s face it, you’re walking all over campus to different offices and it’s hot and humid and sticky and sometimes, it’s even raining. So, I’ve come up with a list of a few things that I think will help mitigate some of that. Continue reading

Registration Day Tips

(image captured from Futurama via Netflix)

Merry College Registration Day! For most of you, if registration for the upcoming term hasn’t started, it’s just about to. The first day of registration is a little bit like Black Friday – there’s a limited amount of stock and a whole lotta people want it.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve figured out what to take next semester, how to come up with a schedule and what to expect during your meeting with your advisor. We’ve been preparing for this day and we’re ready! To round out our Planning for Next Semester series, I’ve got a few things to keep in mind about the act of registration.

Continue reading

What to Expect from Your Registration Meeting with Your Advisor

At most schools, in order to register for the next term, you are required to see your advisor. For a lot of folks, this is the only time they’ll see their advisor. Some people are going to dread it, some will look forward to it, and for some of you, this will be your first time ever meeting your advisor, and you might be nervous, not knowing what to expect. If you fall into the last category, don’t despair – I’ve been there – on both sides of that coin and I have some ideas on what to expect from your registration meeting with your advisor.

Continue reading

Three Steps to a Mock/Trial Schedule

In the last post, we kicked off registration season by talking about how to choose courses for the upcoming term. This time around, we’ll be discussing three easy steps to create a mock/trial schedule. The reason I’m suggesting that you do this is simple: if you know what courses you need to take and develop a schedule based on those courses, the appointment you will have with your advisor can focus less on the nuts and bolts of what day you want to take math and more on career goals, internships and your life’s calling.

Continue reading

What Classes Should I Take Next Semester?


We’re getting to that point in the year where you should be thinking about registering for classes for the upcoming semester. Today I’d like to share some things to consider when generating a list of courses to take next semester.

This is definitely, absolutely, unequivocally NOT meant to replace advising. I just want to get you to refocus on the progress you’ve been making toward finishing your degree to avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future.

Continue reading

Calculating Your Midterm Grade

A common question that I hear from students is “can you tell me what my GPA is right now?” Usually I get this question around the middle of the term, close to the last day to withdraw and right before finals begin. The truth is, GPA is calculated using final grades (grades that are submitted by your professor at the end of the term), so your GPA at any particular moment only includes grades from prior semesters.

However, I do have a little help here for you to determine how you’re doing in a course. Keep reading for a solid method.

Continue reading

Transcripts: What You Need to Know


If you’ve earned college credit from another institution or by way of credit-by-exam (CLEP, AP, IB, etc.), you will need to submit an official transcript to your own school. If you’re getting ready to transfer, you’ll need to make sure to have transcripts from all institutions you’ve ever attended sent to your transfer school. What does all of this mean? How do I get transcripts? What is a transcript and what’s on it? If you’re ready to understand how transcripts can affect your record, read on.

Continue reading

Taking Care of Business Download Freebie

Taking Care of Business Preview Printable Download Freebie

Last week, I shared some insider tips on taking care of business on campus. I ended that post with a list of recommendations on what to document. Then I got to thinking – why not take that list and turn it into a printable!

I hope you like it and will let me know if you like it and how you’re using it! I’d love to hear your feedback on how I can make this work for you. Click the link below to take you to the PDF and then right click to save or print it. To save paper, I’ve put two worksheets on one 8.5″x11″ sheet of paper.

Taking Care of Business

Tips for Dressing for Your Work Study Assignment

Before we get started here, please let me say that this is not a treatise on how college students should or shouldn’t dress. My goal is to help you develop new ideas and rethink how your wardrobe can work for you and help represent who you are as a person. And while most offices won’t require you to dress in a business formal style, dressing for your work study assignment will most likely be your first exposure to dressing for the professional world.

I don’t want you to think you have to go out and shop and buy a whole new wardrobe, but you might use this opportunity to fill some gaps that you may have in your wardrobe.

Personal style is a way of representing your personal brand without even saying a word. Yes, we all know a person shouldn’t be judged on the way she dresses, but rather on the quality of work she produces. But, let’s be honest here – the first impression is the one that lasts.

I also hope that I don’t give the impression that you should have to change your personal style, either. I want you guys to be seen as the wonderful, smart and motivated people that you are, without others being distracted by poor grooming or low necklines.

Personal style also has very little to do with money. Great finds are available at a variety of price points. The key is to cultivate a curated wardrobe stocked with pieces that are versatile, durable and easy to care for. Here’s a run down of a few common items and how to tailor them to an office setting.

Continue reading