College tips and tricks for undergrads, from an undergrad:



This is just a short list of some things I didn’t know about college until a friend who already had a Bachelors degree told me were possible. Let me tell you, they will get you out of a lot of binds, and help you graduate not only on time, but early!

  • just because they say a class is full doesn’t necessarily mean it’s full. Many classes leave a couple of spots reserved for various purposes, or they set a seat limit of 28 for a classroom that can hold 30. Particularly if it’s a 100-level class, ask the department before you give up on a closed class, or ask the professor. Some schools only require special permission from the professor to overload a class, some don’t, find out which yours is.
  • continuously check the site that lists your classes if you’re trying to get into a closed class. School ended for me at the end of May. I waited on a class I’d been trying to get into that closed out very fast, and just last week, it opened up and I got a spot, all of 2 weeks before school starts. You never know when someone will drop a class, and you could be the person to catch their spot.
  • if you feel you know the information for a class that claims you need a certain pre-requisite, ask the professor of the class if it’s possible for you to take it as a co-requisite/test out of the class. For example, in my school there was a beginner level class that required calculus as a pre-requisite. I was only in pre-calculus, meaning I would need to wait a semester to take the class and I’d end up behind if I just used my school’s site. I just asked the professor and he admitted that he had no idea why calculus was a requirement since the class involved 0 calculus, and let me (and many others in). This semester, I’m taking 2 classes I don’t have pre-requisites for because my grades were good enough that they trust I’ll still do well without them. Sometimes pre-requisites are just to delay you and are irrelevant to the class, and you can shorten your time by asking the department or the professor of the class.
  • lastly, if you’re in good academic standing, some schools allow you to take up to 24 credits in a single semester. My school doesn’t charge for extra credits, yours might, make sure you know. It does require that a student be in good academic standing to take up to 21 credits, and a student with special permission from the scheduling office can take 24. (You are going to want to have good grades already and not be taking any classes you think you need to worry about.)

Hope that helps!

^ the above, cosigned by someone who has a degree without ever passing algebra.