How Many Hours Should a College Student Work?

How Many

If you are a freshman in college (or soon-to-be) my best advice is to find a way to take your first semester off so that you can focus on acclimating yourself to the college environment. However, for a lot of college students this just isn’t an option for them financially. I have experience as a full time (15 credit hour) university student and would like to share with you my personal recommendations based on credit hours.

To break it down, most classes on average are worth 3 credit hours. For each class/3 credit hours you will need about 2 to 3 hours each week additionally set aside for studying and assignments. I find this to be the best recipe for success. Not only that, you want to make sure you have set enough time aside to re-cooperate from long lectures and stressful exams.

In general my recommendation per credit hour are…

3 to 6 credit hours: max 40 hours per week

6 to 9 credit hours: max 35 hours per week

9 to 12 credit hours: max 30 hours per week

12 to 15 credit hours: max 25 hours per week

15+ credit hours: 15-20 hours per week

At my university we are not allowed to do more than 15 credit hours without a waiver. With that many classes, it is imperative that you stay focused on your grades and not falling off track.

My first semester of college I worked 20 hours per week with 14 credit hours and it was very manageable.  Last semester, my fourth semester of college, I worked between 25 to 30 hours per week and it almost seems to be pushing the limits. I have decreased for spring semester down to around 20 hours a week to ensure success for the final semester of my “junior year”. You would be surprised how much of a difference an extra 5 hours can really make. Think about it, you have to spend time driving to and from the job, getting ready, etc. Not to mention the added stress and fatigue with the more you work.

It may seem tempting to try and work more and make more money, but your GPA is forever and you can always make more money once you have your degree. If you make grades you aren’t proud of they will still be on your transcript. And once you bring your GPA down it is very difficult to recover.

This also speaks for hours spent in an internship. Don’t set yourself up for failure by signing up for more than you can handle. If you aren’t sure how much working will affect you then start with fewer hours than recommended and ask for another weekly shift if time permits.

I hope this was helpful and that your future (and current) college semesters treat you well. Subscribe for more college advice and leave a comment with how many credit hours/work hours you juggle!

Best,

danielle sig

Finishing the Fall Semester Strong

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As the end of the Fall semester approaches, you may be in a rush to pull your grades up to where you want them or maintain them through finals. Here are a few things I will be doing to finish the Fall semester strong…

Stay focused by avoiding distractions.

  • I deleted my Snapchat and YouTube app off my phone until the end of the semester. Those are the two biggest distractions for me phone-wise and since I deleted them a few days ago, I have had a great head start on one of my research papers and been able to work on other assignments in advance. I can always add them back whenever I am ready. Figure out which are your top 2 or 3 apps and delete them for a little while until you have caught up with your studying.
  • Don’t make any weeknight plans so you can have more time to study and rest. And if you can, try to dedicate more of your weekend time for the month of November to studying and getting ahead on your assignments. Don’t completely rid yourself of all social interaction but also don’t allow it to distract you from reaching your end goal.
  • Be aware of how and where you’re spending time. Catch yourself before you lay on your phone scrolling Facebook or Instagram for an hour, when you could have been writing that paper due in a week. Instead, reward yourself with 5 minutes of phone time for every page written or so to improve your productivity.

Improve study habits.

  • Instead of listening to TV or Netflix while studying or reading for school, listen to classical music.
  • Turn off your phone while studying or put it somewhere inconvenient such as on top of the refrigerator or in your garage.
  • If your previous study habits have not been giving you your desirable results, try something new. Try flashcards or study groups or search Pinterest until you find something new and start seeing results.
  • Try to keep your study sessions shorter between 30 to 45 minutes and then have a 5 to 10-minute break. Studying for hours without breaking can be very strenuous and lead to less information being retained overall.
  • Remember, it’s about learning not memorizing.

Start preparing for finals NOW.

  • At my University, finals begin the last week of November and go through the first week of December. Instead of studying 2 or 3 DAYS before your exam date, start 2 or 3 WEEKS prior. Results are bound to be much better.
  • For each class session you attend, spend 15-30 minutes per day going over notes, making flashcards, etc for that class so that by the time finals come you have already prepared a few hours for each class.
  • Start getting study groups organized now so that you and your peers will have plenty of time to prepare your questions for each other.
  • If you aren’t sure what to expect, visit your professor’s office hours or email them. There’s nothing wrong with asking for their help. That’s what they are there for.

Hopefully you will be able to apply some of this to your last few weeks of the year and achieve the results you want for this semester. I believe in you!

Thanks for reading,

danielle sig

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Scheduling Success

Scheduling Success

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Getting the hang of scheduling when you first start college can be difficult, especially because class schedules in college are very different from high school schedules. I found that using these three planning accessories together help me stay organized and on top of all of my activities and due dates perfectly.

  • DRY ERASE CALENDAR- MONTHLY VIEW

Having this visual for the major events and assignments you have can be helpful to keep you on track and make you aware of what is coming up. I have my dry erase board calendar hanging on my wall next to my desk. These are relatively cheap and incredibly helpful. If you have nothing else, I highly suggest using one of these to keep a broad overview of what your month will look like. I limit my white board to assignments, appointments, get-togethers with family and friends, any bills and my blog posting schedule. I can’t tell you how many times this has saved me from missing a due date or doctor’s appointment.

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You can purchase a wall calendar similar to mine on amazon for $14.91 clicking here.

  • PHYSICAL PLANNERS

Even if you have a phone calendar or a calendar through your email online, I firmly believe that having a physical planner is the most effective way to manage your life from a weekly standpoint. This is where you can include the details you had on your monthly wall calendar but in greater detail. I also include dietary details, workout times, reminders on coupon expiration’s, details about my blog, times when I should be studying and my daily scripture reading verses. As you can see in the photos below, I absolutely love decorating my planner with adorable stickers you can buy from online Etsy shops. My favorite Etsy shop for stickers is the “MyArtsieCreations” shop which is run by the lovely Felicia Jones. She sells every kind of sticker you could dream of-from prayer stickers to zodiac stickers-and all at a wonderfully affordable price.

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My university gives out free planners at the beginning of the fall semester so I suggest you look out for that type of opportunity at your school as well. I also would like to help you guys out with finding a planner so stay tuned until the end of this post for giveaway information!

  • PHONE CALENDARS

This is the perfect way to plan your day-to-day activities. This may be a bit excessive once you have scheduling down to a science but I would suggest planning out the majority of your days for the first two weeks of college until you know exactly what you’re doing without it. On iPhones, you can easily set the items that occur daily on repeat so you don’t have to put every class time or re-occurring extracurricular activities in one by one each day.

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Overall, I would say that all three of those planning activities would take me a combined time of thirty minutes each month and save me a lot of hassle in the end so it is well worth that half an hour. I suggest that you put in all of your assignments and exam dates for classes at the very beginning of your semester by viewing the due dates on your syllabus. If you have any additional questions, please comment below; I would love to help you experience the scheduling success I had my first year of college.

Now for the giveaway info…

I am giving away two adorable planners as pictured below along with a few sheets of planner stickers so graciously provided by Felicia from MyArtsieCreations. There will be two winners which will be announced July 2nd! Entering is extremely easy and, of course, you do not need to be in college or entering college this upcoming fall to join the giveaway. These methods of scheduling can be used whether you’re in middle school, high school or an established career, so feel free to enter no matter what walk of life you are in.FullSizeRender[6]

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Here are the rules:

  1. Be subscribed to my blog. If you are on a computer, the subscription box will be on the right side of the screen and if you are on a mobile device it will be below the post.
  2. Follow my Instagram @christianoncampus and Felicia @myartsiecreations.
  3. Comment below answering the question “What is your favorite planning method from the three listed in this post?” along with your Instagram handle so I can make sure you follow Felicia and I.

That’s it! Don’t forget to also leave your post requests and prayer requests below. Thank you for reading and have a blessed Sunday!

The Summer Before Your First Year of College

The Summer Before Your First Year of College

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It’s easy to get caught up in preparations for your first semester of college, but it’s important to use this time to reflect on your accomplishments, think about your future, embrace God and just breathe. Here is my advice for making the most of this transitional period of your life.

Whether you just graduated high school or took a break in between high school and college and are getting back to school later on, it’s important to take a moment to appreciate your accomplishments before starting another huge journey. I feel as though this is never mentioned and I didn’t take a moment over the summer between high school and college to look back on all that I had down to get there. I immediately wanted to start preparing for the new school year and I ended up making myself feel as though college was just a continuation of high school. Physical preparations with orientation, class schedule, books, supplies and so on is important but don’t forget about mental preparation. High school and college should not feel the same and you deserve to feel the satisfaction of completion and moving on to something bigger and better. It isn’t necessary to start preparing for university the day after you graduate. Take your time to celebrate and acknowledge the completion of high school and all that went with it.

Think about your future with regards to college and pursuing God and your happiness and make sure that the journey you are about to embark on allows all of those things to properly tie together. If you don’t see yourself being happy with what you plan on doing in college, for example, your major if you have declared it already, you can use this summer to think about it and adjust your plans so that it will all flow smoothly. Consider if you are doing this with ill intentions or if it really is for your own happiness, for bettering the world and for God. If it is for money or family members, your mind and heart are not in the right place and you are probably not going to do as well as you hope. College is expensive and difficult and if you aren’t approaching it correctly and with the best intentions, it could be a waste of your time, money and effort. Make sure you use this time to tweak your plans for the future to set yourself up for success. And if you are confused, that’s something you need to talk to God about.

Spend time with God over this summer and build your relationship with him up so that it won’t be easily torn down when you begin your classes. College can be overwhelming, especially when you first start. It can ignite a huge spiritual war inside of us when we forget how to make time to spend with God and stay in contact with Him as much as we used to. In high school, our schedule was the same every day and making time was a lot easier. In college, your schedule for classes may be different every day of the week and there are a lot more activities that you will want to be a part of. Not that you can’t be involved, but you definitely don’t want anything ever to take priority of God. Not even school. So make sure you are taking time to get into the Word every day and communicate with God through prayer as often as possible to lay a solid foundation before you head off to school.

Finally, I want to encourage you to take time to relax and breathe before you start your classes. Take your bible and drive to the beach or walk to your favorite park or sit under a shady tree in your yard. Wherever your happy place is, go find it a few times every week, or more often if you can. College gets hectic and while this may seem like silly advice, you’ll thank me later.

Please leave prayer requests and comment when you start college or if you are already graduated or in college currently, like I am. Have a blessed day and don’t forget about the giveaway info that will be up on Sunday!

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting College

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting College

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Welcome to the newest addition to my blog: the college section! I thought as the first post here, I would tell you all five important things that I wish I knew before starting college.

  1. You don’t need to know your major before starting college or even during your freshman year.

Sure, it is comforting to know what you want to do, and if you are 100% sure then, by all means, declare your major first thing. But make sure you are being true to yourself, that you have considered all aspects of that major and your future career path and most importantly be sure to give yourself enough time to confirm all of those things. You can change your major, but most colleges or universities have a limit and it is stressful (at least in my opinion) to change your major once it has already been declared. By my senior year of high school, I was already set on pursuing medical school and towards the end of my first semester of college, I was ABSOLUTELY SURE that was not the right path for me. If you guys would like to know my full story on changing my major, comment below.

  1. It is okay to change your mind and explore different career paths.

Once I had confirmed that I did not want to be pre-med anymore, I was incredibly anxious about changing my major, telling my family and about completely changing my course schedule and trying to find new friends in the new major. I started out so set in what I was doing and had made myself feel so assured in what I thought I wanted, that when God changed my heart and let me know I was not going down the right path, I felt very lost. I had a poor image of other students who changed their major for some reason and when I realized I was that student I was confused and did not know how to handle that. Be open minded to different possibilities and don’t stress too much about your major during your freshman year. There’s nothing wrong with changing your major.

  1. Studying is a lot more important than it was in high school.

You might not have needed to study in high school, but don’t assume that will transfer over to college. It depends on the class and your professor of course, but more than likely you will have at least one course per semester (if not all of them) that will require extra weekly studying. Don’t wait until the end of the semester to try and pull your act together. Stay on top of your grades from the beginning and you will thank yourself later. Also weekly studying will help you keep up with remembering all that you have learned which will help you on your final exams, which are usually cumulative.

  1. College campuses are not as safe as high school campuses.

In high school, when an unknown person comes on campus there are usually safety procedures or classroom lockdowns. On college campuses, anyone can pretty much walk on and off campus as they please. I had a pretty naïve idea of campus safety when I first started college. You never think anything bad will happen to you, and thank God nothing has happened to me so far, but a few scary things have happened on my campus in my first year that have definitely made me become more aware of my surroundings. Don’t walk around at night alone and be wary of suspicious people. My campus is relatively safe but things still happen. Just be careful.

  1. College is important, but God should always remain your top priority.

We all have a way of unknowingly making other things in life become our idols. And as you know, having idols as a Christian is definitely not something you should do. Study for your tests, go to class, be social, spend time with family, complete all your assignments of course. But also remember to pray daily, go to church, study the bible and engage in fellowship. God should never be put below anything else and school is no exception.

Thank you for reading and be sure to subscribe to be updated when I publish new content. Next Sunday on June 18th I will be beginning a new giveaway and it will be organizational/planning themed so stay tuned!

Leave me a comment answering the question “Are you in college, preparing for college or finished with college?” along with any prayer requests and have a blessed Sunday.

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