Before I got to Rutgers I had no idea what I wanted to major in and what classes I wanted to take. Although I was able to attend APA day and register for my classes, I was not aware of the vast range of majors and classes the school offered. I knew I wanted to pursue a pre-veterinary track, but besides this, I was essentially clueless. I came in as a potential animal science major and started taking classes for this major, not really thinking about what else I could do. As the second semester rolled around, I realized I wanted to change my major to Biotechnology, but still minor in animal science. This drastic shift in majors prompted me to take another look at what I was registered for, how many credits I needed to take, the classes I needed, and the new requirements for this new major. Although I was able to start organizing all this, I was in the midst of exams and kept pushing this off because I always had something on my plate.
Fast forward to the current semester; I had begun to thoroughly examine the major requirements for biotechnology and was getting increasingly stressed about what I was going to do. I began to wonder if I would even be able to graduate in four years because I was so overwhelmed by all the classes I had to take, not to mention core curriculum classes and Honors college requirements. The more stressed I felt, the further I pushed this issue out of my mind. I didn't even want to think about it because then I would actually have to face the reality of my situation.
Finally, this past week I expressed my stress to one of my close friends and we proceeded to sit down together to plan out the rest of my semesters with all my requirements in front of me. It was confusing and a lot of work, but we finally got through it after a couple of hours. I was so relieved to find out that I had a plan set where I could graduate on time and finish everything I needed to. Before I finished my four-year plan I thought I'd definitely have to take summer classes or stay an extra semester and overload on credits every other semester. This was not the case; I was able to organize everything and even move things around to relieve the course load certain semesters.
To all incoming freshmen and even sophomores; I'd recommend creating a four-year plan as soon as possible and then going over it with your advisor or a friend. It really helps you plan for the future so you're not as stressed, and it can help you plan classes in the most efficient ways as well. It might be scary at first and you might not want to face the responsibility, but I promise it can only help you!