How To Take 18 Credit Hours & Still Live Your Life in College

Friend: “Yo, how many hours are you taking next year”

Me: “Bro, I’m taking 18……”

Friend: “Damn bro, that’s about to be hell, why?!?”

Me: “Not looking forward to it what-so-ever”

This is the conversation I typically have whenever I get asked how many hours I’m taking. To be completely honest, I have tried to take 18 hours before in the past and lowkey, I dropped a course. Not because it was hard but because I changed my major and the class I was enrolled in was required for my old major but not for my new major.

In today’s blog post, I will be talking about my experiences with loading up on coursework and things I have seen work for me and for others. By implementing these simple tips, you can get the success in the classroom while still living your best life.

Stick around for those of you looking to add another course or that are already taking 18 hours. If you are one of those taking 18 hours, you are in my prayers 🙂

THE DAUNTING VIEW OF 18 HOURS 

Let’s be honest, school is most of the time a very hassling area especially if you are not that good at school. For me, I wasn’t always the top student in my classes and I don’t know the feeling of getting a 4.0. So for someone that is not that good at school, loading up on your coursework can be challenging at first, but with proper preparation and having the right mindset, this can be easier than seen. You don’t need to be the smartest to get the best results.

18 credit hours is seen as this huge detrimental beast that not many college students say “oh you’re doomed for hell.” Reality is, yeah it’s hard don’t get me wrong but it’s something you shouldn’t fear of. I know for myself, that whenever I was taking 18 hours before changing my major, life was tough and the amount of more focus and work you had to put it was noticed.

During my freshman year, I took the bare minimum of 14 and 13 hours both semesters. Part of the reason is due to the fact I played college soccer, my schedule was already bombarded by it leaving no free time for more classwork. Now that I am not a student-athlete anymore, I am able to load my coursework up and do more things that revolve around my academics. Life is good now, I don’t have to walk to class every day looking like I got shot in the back from weights or feeling half handicapped from the waist below from rigorous training and runs.

Like said earlier, 18 hours is no easy task but with proper preparation and useful tools, you can take 18 hours and still live your college life and have fun, all at the same time!

So without further or due, lets jump right to it.

Planning Your Schedule

Alright, so you’ve determined that this semester is the semester you challenge yourself and get some classes out of the way now rather than later. Before you begin to arrange classes and start adding courses like a maniac, take a deep breath and relax.

You have to optimize and plan different courses for different schedules and think about factors and periods when courses would best be suited for.

My number one tip is to not take more than 2-3 difficult classes in a semester. Reason being is that you don’t want to overwhelm yourself by taking all the rigorous classes and not being able to complete all the work and not being able to focus properly for each. What I mean by this is, don’t go taking 2 math courses, a science course, and a history class all in one semester because you’ll find yourself in a deep hole come midterms when you have a stockpile of work and tests to study for.

In another hand maybe take like 1 math course, 1 science course, 2 prereqs for your college and 1-2 general education classes.

You want your schedule to be balanced but not make it too easy because as you move along the ranks of grade classification, you will have to start taking all these difficult classes you put off in the beginning, and that’s when you will see all the stress pile up like a snowball effect and collapse all over your face!

We don’t want

A tool I use when planning my schedule is Coursicle. Coursicle allows you to browse classes based on your college and plan your perfect schedule. It also notifies you whenever a seat opens up in a class that you want. I highly recommend using this FREE tool! Below is one of the alternative schedules I made for this upcoming Fall 2018 semester. I wanted to include it to give you a visual on how it looks and see how beneficial it can be whenever planning out this detrimental 18-hour schedule

Life of Pedro Coursicle for App State
Fall 2018 Coursicle Alternative Schedule

So when properly planning your schedule, I would recommend speaking to your academic advisor about planning your courses as they are the wisest tool you can use when doing this. Luckily for me, whenever I was a student-athlete, our advisors did all the planning for us and all we had to do it register for the courses. Making it as easy as taking candy from a baby. Shout Cliff Poole!

Now that I am not a student-athlete anymore, I have to do the planning myself but by speaking to your advisor and evaluating your strengths, planning can be fairly easy!

Okay, now that you have planned your schedule and have everything ready to go for the first day of school now we move onto keeping up with these classes.

TAMING THE WILD BEAST FOR THE SEMESTER

Now that you have it all set and ready to go, now we all we got to do is tame this beast so we don’t lose control over it and can handle the wild bursts of it.

The number one thing to avoid when taking 18 credit hours is PROCRASTINATION

Now, this can seem fairly simple but it is something literally every college student has problems with and everyone can relate to this.

I know for myself that I procrastinated a lot in high school but I’ve reduced it a lot now that I am in college. Due to the reason is, you can’t afford to procrastinate that much in college like you did in high school. You are in the big leagues and need to treat it as such to get the results you want because employers do not give a flying goose egg about your high school experience. They care about what you did in college. So if you goof in college, you might as well goofed with your future employer.

Now Rather Than Later 

 

Do yourself a favor and whenever you are assigned an assignment to do it as soon as possible rather than waiting 24 hours before it is due. It will save you so much time and effort later down the road and you will see greater success.

It’s amazing to see the time you have when knocking assignments as you go. You’ll have so much time to rage like an animal and do the things you want to do. That can be from hanging out with friends, going out downtown on the weekends, to taking time on your personal hobbies you thoroughly enjoy. The possibilities are endless.

Our main concern is to give you more time to live your life and live your lifestyle.

TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME

Okay, so now that you know not to procrastinate, you need to divide your attention to focusing on one assignment at a time.

The main reason for this is when you are thinking about multiple assignments at once and you worry about how you are going to finish them all in time for your classes, you end up wasting more time worrying about what could go wrong instead of just completing assignments. It is important to take it one step at a time. 

Digesting courseload by bits of pieces rather than huge mouthfuls is going to make your life a lot easier.

A prime example of this happened to me last semester. I had an 11am class on a Monday which happened to be history. Walking in, I thought “today is going to be a nice and easy day.” As I was walking in, I see that everybody has a paper in front of them. I ask my neighbor, “was there a paper due today?” He says “yeah, man we have an essay due today.”

In my mind, I freak out! I had totally forgotten the due date and I didn’t have a paper.

I panicked so hard and begin to think of ways that I can finesse this. After a solid minute of creative brainstorming, I think “how much time can it possibly take me to write a two-page double-spaced paper on a historical event?” I say “easy as cake, I got this.”

I run down to the library, grab an energy drink (since it was 11am, I was sleepy) sprint up to the 3rd floor which at Appalachian State is the silent floor and I begin to furiously write this paper.

one hour later w/ Spongebob

I get the paper written in the best possible way that I can do in an hour. I sprint back to Ann Belk Hall to my classroom and casually walk in pretending I had been in the bathroom the whole time. Which granted is the excuse I had to say since that is what I told the professor after he counted me “present” for the class.

Don’t get me wrong, as I walked in people thought I had dipped and was not coming back since I took literally almost the whole class period in the “bathroom.”

I turned it in with 5 minutes to spare of the class and got an A on the paper.

Why did I mention this story?

Because when it got to crunch time, I focused solely on this ONE paper and got it done in little under an hour which if I would have procrastinated and thought of other assignments I had to do, it would have taken me much longer to do. It’s a proven theory that if have less time and more urgency for something that you get it done with max efficiency and time.

Stay Organized

Staying organized is such an important factor that is vital for both your personal life and your academics. I highly suggest everyone taking on heavy coursework to have a planner with them.

I use the Panda Planner (pictured below) from Amazon because it keeps me organized, there is space to write down daily tasks I want to knock out and places to gather notes and ideas for future business ideas or school thoughts.
I found this planner and any planner in particular to be a strong tool to use. The main reason I like this planner, in particular, is that one, It has a cool design to it and it’s visually appealing that makes things easier when planning/organizing.

Highly suggest getting a planner of your own to keep track of all the amazing things going on in your life.

 

Another thing I recommend for staying organized is investing in a virtual personal assistant. By personal assistant, I mean in an Amazon Alexa.

Being as busy with having my own personal ventures and taking 18 credit hours, it has been super useful to have a virtual assistant like Alexa that helps you throughout your day. By keeping track of meetings and what you have planned that day to finding the weather to dress appropriately for class as well. All with the command of your voice. That’s the best thing about it. It’s like your own Alfred and you are Bruce Wayne.

Down below is an article that I SPECIFICALLY talk about how having a virtual assistant can increase your productivity and keep you organized:

Make Time For Yourself

With all being said, putting in the work to be successful later in your career and taking 18 credit hours is cool and all but if you don’t put the time to yourself, you will be miserable

The most important thing is making time for yourself. 

You will become stress and miserable as heck if you don’t schedule the time to do other things than studying 24/7.

Everyone needs a break eventually, as well as fun things to look forward to. So go out with your friends in downtown and wild out. Go have a boys/girls night playing a game or simply having a bonfire to catch up with one another. Go travel to a different location or scenery that you always wanted to go. Literally, anything. The point is to get away from those books.

College is meant for you to explore and find out who you really are. If you are studying all the time, you won’t have the luxury to do that. My main motive is to find ways for you guys to do all the things you want in life in the most efficient yet enjoyable way possible.

Go out and do what makes you happy! Life is short.

How are you taking advantage of it?

Your boy,

Pedro Segundo

FYI: Go check out some related posts I have if you haven’t already.

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And for more posts related to this blog on how you can succeed in taking 18 credit hours, I left some goodies down below:

 

 

What and Who is Holding You Back From Greatness?

ITS TIME TO GET OVER IT

I’m sitting here in a Starbucks writing this blog post to you as beside me is a young Asian man that I have been helping him get off his feet. I came across this man yesterday on my way out of the library asking for a ride. I gave him a ride and learned his story and how he has been struggling lately ever since he has come to the U.S. I was skeptical at first but I saw no harm in his eyes.

He shared how he has little resources and how he feels like an outsider in this country. This made me think…

I was once in his shoes, how can I help him?

I offered him my time along with personal rides whenever I was in the area when he needed one, money for food for the week, and shared my personal experiences and how he can apply these to his life. Right now he is reading over articles on “How to master interviews” so he can get a job and start somewhere. Will keep updated on his journey as to how he will progress.

HOW WE DOING TODAY? I HOPE AMAZING!

Image result for whats up memesLife is good right now. I grabbed my first paycheck from my internship yesterday and man does it feel good once that paycheck direct deposits into your account. It’s like a revitalizing feeling and makes you ready to take on the weekend.

This post I will talk about many obstacles that many people have and obstacles and fears I have for myself. It’s kind of weird because I don’t like to talk about these kinds of things with other people and I’d imagine many of you don’t either. There is a social stigma nowadays that people don’t like sharing their problems because of what other people will think of those problems. I myself strongly believe that and supports why I don’t like sharing these things. Of course, people will share minor problems that happen to them just like any ordinary person. For example, I’ve gotten four speeding tickets since my parents took me to get my license. Pedro, four? Yes, four. Trust me, it sucks paying those court costs and lawyers fees to only get it reduced to proper equipment. These are problems that aren’t as daunting other than you paying fees to cover it but it doesn’t amount to anything more than that but these are problems people feel comfortable sharing.

There are problems people don’t want to share such as family issues, financials, personal mishaps, and lack of confidence.

DON’T LET THESE PROBLEMS GET TO YOU

Honestly, I have fallen victim to issues and I’m making a pledge to not let these problems get in the way of overcoming adversity and gaining personal happiness. Whatever problems you may have, it’s time to put them aside. I want you to think right now and say

What problems are stopping me ?

Now go back and think of ways that you can put those problems aside or rise on top of them. Make no excuses. Whatever problem you have, I guarantee you someone has already conquered that same issue.

Not enough money? Find other ways to make money

Don’t have the self-confidence to talk to new people? Break out of your shell and force yourself to talk to people

Not getting good enough grades? Buckle down and hit those books

Point is, there are solutions to everything.

USE ME AS AN EXAMPLE

Growing up, I didn’t have that much of a privileged upbringing as some of my peers. It wasn’t as easy to get the things that I wanted due to the fact that money was always tight when I was young. I had to work extremely hard to get these things that I wanted at an early age. Middle school was the age that everything clicked and I told myself that I would not be an average Hispanic male with no education, no success, and no motive to move forward. This was a popular mindset growing up. Coming from a Mexican-Native family, I got to experience and be around of lots of people that would peak in high school and that would be it in their life. I vividly remember 6th grade. 6th grade was awful as I was bullied and picked on SO much. People would laugh at my ridiculous hair, they would laugh at my name, they would laugh about what I wore and literally everything they could say they would make fun of it. This put me in such a depressing state at the time. I would go to school, feel like absolute shit from it and come home and talk to my parents about how much school had sucked that day. Bullying is a real thing. Like it really does affect your mindset and I was victim to it. I endured that torture all year and I made a decision that next year I would come back a whole different person. This was also the time that I told myself that I would commit to soccer and play at the next level.

COMING BACK AT YOU BOY

7th grade came around. I had completely re-amp myself. I changed my hairstyle, style of clothes, personality, and most importantly, my self-confidence. Every opportunity I got to meet a new person, join a new group, talk to a new girl I thought was cute literally anything to change. That year I joined the middle school soccer team, band, chess club, and SGA. Also that year I got my first “official” girlfriend that didn’t last for a week. You know those typical middle relationships. That year I forced myself to change and change did happen. Now, I would come home to tell my parents how awesome school was and the things that I learned. It was a whole different feeling and I was loving it. Life has much more purpose when every day is a good day and you see positive change happen.

My parents were more than happy to invest time and money into things like this because they say the inner gratification it caused me. I couldn’t thank them enough for that.

Needless to say, life was great. Don’t get me wrong. There were a lot of obstacles in order to get that change I deeply needed. People would mock new things I did, Hispanic friends of mine would make fun because I was doing “white people” things. Girls would make fun of how awkward I was at the beginning. Loads of criticism happened but I made it work and told myself to not let those people bring me down.

BRAND NEW PEDRO

8th grade was the year that everything began to roll. I was making lots of friends, a lot more people develop a more overall liking to me, I made serious progress in soccer, I was making money playing music. Like everything was starting to glow in life.

Image result for what problems are stopping you
Me in middle school

People weren’t making fun of me because they were seeing progress and how quickly I became to overcome those negative minded people that all they do is criticise other people. Thinking with a negative mind will get you nowhere in life.

MY QUESTION TO YOU

Whatever problems you have, I promise you that it is not the end of the world. Push yourself to limits you didn’t even know you had. Make every day a mission to improve as a person and most importantly, live your life to the absolute fullest. There are few chances for you to do whatever your heart desires.

I want you to think of a mini bucket list of 5 things you want to do within the next five years. I’m going to share mine.

  • Go to Tomorrowland in Beliguim
  • Attend the next World Cup
  • Graduate college with a 3.75 GPA
  • Build my first online e-commerce store
  • Move to a either Chicago or New York

These are goals and ambitious goals that I hope to achieve but with the right mindset, knowledge, and ambition ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!!!

BE THE KING

Now put aside all your problems and START TODAY! 

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Your boy,

Pedro Segundo