Ok, mainly I am talking here to anyone not about to graduate from college, that is, anyone who still has classes ahead of them.
In particular, I suppose I am talking to those who are registering for classes and planning their future schedules.
If you are one of the students who need to work, and I mean, needs in the sense that you are providing for yourself (i.e. rent, food, car insurance, etc.) and not just working part-time for “wants” (like splurging on clothes or Starbucks), I highly recommend you not take five classes while doing so.
It might look like an attractive option, if only for the possibility of graduating earlier and shaving off a semester, but if you can avoid it, do yourself a favor and don’t take more than four at a time if you have to work regularly. And if you have to take five, try to make it so that they are all MWF or TTH.
The usual stress points in the semester will become truly overwhelming if you are having to go to class and then straight to work until late at night three days out of five and trying to cram all your homework and paper-writing and studying into those two weekday afternoons and then one weekend day (because you’re working the other one).
The workload for most classes (that I have thus far encountered) is manageable when considered in isolation of each other as well as of life events. Admittedly, I had a lot going on outside of classes this semester, a lot more than usual, but I still thought it would be fine.
In tandem, though, they can come to seem impossible to manage, especially when finals roll around. When you’re having to juggle research for five different eight to ten-page papers, while also keeping in mind that most of those papers will have to be distilled and presented to fellow classmates, and also keeping up with the reading that professors for some reason continue to pile on, and also preparing for finals that are given on top of eight to ten-page papers, it is bad enough.
Working four days out of seven on top of that, especially when not living at home or with the direct support of your parents, well, like I said, it begins to feel impossible, and this is coming from someone who moved out at 17 (thus I'm used to being independent) and is in her last semester of college (thus relatively used to time management and staying on top of things).
Basically, I thought I could handle it, but at this point, I am exhausted and miserably counting down the days until the end of school, which is an unfortunate way to end my undergraduate career, because I legitimately enjoy school normally.
I honestly cannot remember a more stressful semester, and this whole piece may seem like I am just complaining, but really, I am just trying to convey how difficult it is to juggle huge workloads in an attempt to dissuade anyone who might be considering doing so just to finish up with school earlier.
Don’t do it.