College can be the most stressful time of some of our lives. For most of us it represents the last challenge of our school lives, and the first challenge of our adult lives. College students tend to like to show people how tough they are by having multiple jobs, or taking extra classes, but is it worth it? There are certainly benefits to taking extra classes, but there are also a lot of pitfalls to taking extra classes as well.
The obvious benefit to taking extra classes is that you are going to graduate a little quicker, or you are going to give yourself more time in subsequent semesters to pursue other goals. This is a great way to get some of your core classes out of the way when you are a freshman or sophomore so that when you are a junior you can start preparing yourself for the job market. That means taking your higher level classes sooner, and perhaps clearing space for an internship.
The obvious downfall is that you are going to have to take an extra class. Besides having to spend more time in a classroom, you are going to have to do more homework, and you are going to have to prepare for extra papers, tests, and other work that comes with the class. It can be time consuming, and a chore to find the time for that extra class.
So should you take an extra class per semester? The real key is do you have to take that class right now, and what class are you taking? If you are taking history 101 when you are a sophomore, it might be a good call. You don’t really have to think too hard about an intro course when you are in your third or fourth semester. It might be a little extra time with some classwork, but you already know what you have to do for that level.
However, if you are taking an advanced science course, you might want to hold off on that one. You not only have class time, but labs, and other work for that kind of a class. Unless you are really interested in working in that field, you should just leave that one be for when you might have a lighter schedule in front of you.
Taking an extra class should only happen if you can only take that class in that semester. Not only that, but it should only be taken if you can make yourself go to the classes and do the work. There is no benefit to enrolling in a class only to drop it later. All you have is a higher tuition bill, and the stress of having to still take that class later.