At UW-Eau Claire, graduating in four years has become something of a feat, rather than an expectation. With more students graduating in four-and-a-half to five years than those who graduate in four, the student mentality has shifted.
Students now believe that graduating on time requires an immense amount of work and a sacrifice of much of the fun that is college. I can tell you from experience this is just not the reality.
Below I have shared four ways to graduate on time while living a balanced, involved life (or at least how I did it).
1. The magic number 15
It’s simple. Most majors at UW-Eau Claire require 120 credits to earn a degree. That means you must take 30 credits per year or 15 credits per semester. The number 15 is essential to graduating on time. 15 credits. You may want to take more, but my advice is to aim for an average of 15 or talk to your advisor if you need to take less.
Possibly the best resources available to students are the “My Planner” on MyBlugold CampS and their academic adviser. Taking an early look forward at each class you need to take will help you immensely in graduating on time. When it comes time to register for classes, having a plan will make the process much easier and you’ll know what to do when classes are full.
3. Finding structure
Structured life in college is essential. It may not feel like it, but you have a lot of free time. With only four hours of class in a day, it’s too easy to say “I’ll do it later.” This is why it's important to fill your schedule. Joining campus organizations is a great way to do this.
Finding an activity provides you not only with a structured schedule, but also with a group of people to go through it with. When you know you have obligations, you are more likely to get your work done beforehand. You may feel busy, but you will actually get more accomplished.
4. Don’t stress out
There will be times in college when things pile up. While I’d like to say there’s a way to avoid it, there is not. The only option is to work through it. You could sit around and spend afternoons stressing about all the things you have to do, or you could just do them.
Later on, when you finish everything you needed to do, you’ll have time to go out with friends, go to a club meeting or just sleep. Don’t waste time being stressed out.
As simple as these tips may seem on paper, now it's up to you. Make a plan and stick to it, and you too will be graduating before you know it!