College isn’t a one-pace-fits-all

Before I get started, I have something I need to get off my chest. I went to a junior college.

As I was walking through Wichita State’s campus on the first day of class, I couldn’t help but recall my first day at Barton County Community College. If it weren’t for the welcome signs scattered across the campus, you’d have a hard time believing that school was even in session.

When I got to my first class, which was less than a minute walk from the cafeteria, I started to question if I got the days mixed up. Class was supposed to start in five minutes and not a single person was in the room. The students, and even the professor, didn’t start to file in until a minute or two after the top of the hour. I soon learned that that’s just how things roll in junior college.

I happily dove headfirst into this laidback junior college lifestyle.

For two years I didn’t set a single alarm for class. I let my internal clock do all the work.

If my first class started at 9 a.m., it didn’t make a difference to me whether I woke up at 8:30 or 9:01; my routine remained the same. Class could wait.

At Barton I had no problem taking 18 or more credit hours in a semester. If I ever needed to catch up on sleep or anything, I could always just skip a few classes. No problem.

At Wichita State, that’s no longer the case.

Taking 18 or more credit hours a semester here would be suicide. For me, at least.

I developed a habit of skipping class and avoiding studying because I could get away with it. Now that I’m at Wichita State, I’m looking for some consistency.

If I can get into a comfortable and predictable routine, I feel like I can bust some of the habits that could get in the way of my success as a student. In keeping with this consistency, I think it’d be most beneficial to take 15 credit hours per semester for my final four semesters. That way I know what kind of workload to expect and I can adequately prepare for it. Maybe I can even make time to actually do some studying.

To each their own, though.

Each student works at his or her own pace. No matter how many advisors you go to or how much advice you get, the only one who truly knows what’s best is you. The traditional four-year route isn’t one-size-fits-all. Find what works best for you.