You are here

Avoiding College Freshman Fumbles

Dear Seniors, after helping you make your last set of schedule changes, I thought you might need a bit of advice as you look ahead to scheduling classes at College this coming fall. Here are some tips on “Avoiding College Freshman Fumbles” – adapted from an anonymous blogger post, by Ms. Scudder


In high school you are provided assistance as students in various facets of your school lives. Of course, most of that help is concentrated in the area of academic management. Once you leave high school and enter college, the scene changes significantly. It’s important for you to be aware of this shift in order to achieve academically and avoid fumbles in your early college years. The following tips can assist if you need help with this:

College Is Not High School (I know you are thinking, hurray, but you won’t be getting as many chances to get things right!)

Be Proactive: In college, professors are not going to call home when problems arise or seek out absent students. Students must get to know their professors by attending class and utilizing their office hours. You must be active in the classroom by asking questions and showing initiative. Professors are a great place to seek tutoring. Most professors have teaching assistants that provide tutoring services. Getting professors to notice you this way can help you get more assistance and possible recommendations later.

Advisors are also an excellent source of help particularly in the direction of degree work. They help students locate the aspect of their major that might fit them best. They also have access to professional contacts that may help with obtaining internships.

Join study groups even if you prefer studying alone. Group interaction can provide better understanding of a particular area or a different view on the subject matter. Also, some students may have taken the course before or have access to old exams that allows the group to review the format.

Double the class hours: While college can be a time of self and social discovery, you must maintain good studious habits to obtain a degree and position themselves for a job after graduation. Students often don’t realize that even though fewer classes are taken in college, they demand more work than the typical high school course. Research indicates that two to three times as many study hours are needed for every college hour taken. So, if a student takes 16 class hours, at least 32 study hours are needed to keep up with the workload.

Maintain Integrity: When faced with papers and deadlines to meet every week, many students feel pressure to cheat. Cheating may seem like an easy way out but, even more than high school, it is considered a very serious offense in college often leading to expulsion. Even if the student is not kicked out, their reputation will be ruined in the eyes of professors, advisors and peers. When credibility is destroyed, they will find it very difficult to secure recommendations, mentors, or internships when it is time to graduate and find a job.

Wise Class Scheduling

There are a multitude of factors to consider when determining course load and schedule. Proper course selection can often seem complex and perhaps frustrating. Here are eight practical tips students should remember:

1. College allows flexible scheduling so that classes can be planned around other activities you wish to pursue (employment, involvement in campus organizations, extracurricular activities).

2. Figure out what time of the day is most productive and schedule classes at that time.

3. Try not to schedule too many classes on the same days. This will prevent work from piling up and being due on the same day.

4. Scheduling too many classes in one subject at one time can be overwhelming. Mix up reading intensive classes with writing intensive classes to break the monotony.

5. Twelve credit hours (4 classes) are considered a full load. Taking all hard classes one semester to knock them out not generally a good idea. This can become a challenge to even the most studious.

6. Keep other classes in mind in the event that first choice classes aren’t available. Many times the most popular classes will be full. Make a list of alternate classes that’s needed for core requirements or for exploration.

7. Know the classes needed each semester. This may seem obvious, but many students get off track. The course catalog is an invaluable source for determining when required classes are due and the prerequisites needed for future classes.

8. Many advisors excel in class scheduling and have a lot of experience and forethought in creating a good and balanced schedule. Even if you feel you have it figured out, have the advisor review your schedule before finalizing it.

As you focus on the goal of college you will begin to seriously examine academic milestones and achievements. You can fumble on your own and awaken to these simple truths at some point in time, perhaps after making many mistakes, or you can take advantage of what other students have learned the hard way!

Good Luck!

Ms. Scudder


12 County Route 47
Parishville, NY 13672
Phone: 315-265-4642
Fax: 315-268-1309

Mission Statement:
The PHCS community strives to instill in all students the knowledge and skills necessary to become caring, conscientious, and creative citizens.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer