Ask Sarah: Do I Have to Take Every Course My Academic Advisor Suggests?


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IMG_3684“Do I need to take every class my advisers suggest? I’m starting to feel overwhelmed just looking at my course load.”Ginnie, 18

If you are in college, absolutely not. However, do take into account that you may be set back if you omit certain classes, so pay attention to the classes your advisor says you absolutely, positively need to have.

The best thing to do is to have an even balance. Take a majority of core classes, and add in electives. Your first semester is a good time to find yourself figure out how much of a course load you can handle, so don’t overdo it– I’d say take the standard amount of course credits typical students take. You can make up credit hours in future semesters or even over the summer.

Sometimes it’s also nice to balance out a more involved course with some lighter courses. Remember that you are not supposed to know exactly what you want to do. That will change– it’s expected to. Maybe there are some courses that you simply want to try out, and that’s okay. Make room for those in your first year of college. Talk to your advisors about your concerns, and discuss spreading out your credits over a couple of semesters. They want to keep you on track but they also want to keep you focused and on top of your classes. There is no sense in cramming credits into your course load if you have to withdraw midway through. Best of luck this school year!

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Sarah Clifford

Sarah Clifford is a writer and theatre actress from Charlotte, NC. She is in her second year of college at Central Piedmont, and pursuing an Art History degree. In her spare time she enjoys running, volunteering with the local animal shelter, reading art crime thrillers, and loving on her Terrier, Marty.