From the time we enter Washburn as freshmen, we are told that in order to graduate on time, we should take 15 credit hours a semester. Walking around campus, you are bound to see someone wearing one of those “THINK 15” t-shirts encouraging students to “graduate on time” by loading themselves with as many classes as possible.
The 15 credit hour per semester expectation unfairly pressures students to uphold a stressful standard. This amount of an academic courseload severely limits any students’ ability to have a healthy college experience and pursue extracurricular activities and learning opportunities.
We are encouraged to follow any path we wish and to major in anything we want to make the futures we have planned out happen. But we are given an imaginary deadline as to when these paths must truly begin to unfold. Many students may begin to feel guilt and laziness if the degree they want takes longer than four years to obtain.
We are told that we are in college to further our education, but it must also be kept in mind that on top of that, most students are working at least a part-time job and fully intend to keep up on their social lives and have fun, in order to reduce the stress that college life provides. Expecting students to take 15 credit hours a semester, on top of these other things that are necessary to keep your sanity as a college student, is unfair.
Furthermore, overloading on classes can negatively impact the quality of education. Even if you manage to maintain decent grades, the more classes students take at one time, the less they are likely to retain from each class. A quality over quantity approach to education is no less valid than trying to rush through school as quickly as possible, especially considering the amount of time and money you are investing.
There is not a wrong way to attend college. If you are here and you are attending and participating in classes every day, and making the memories you are supposed to be making as a college student, you are absolutely doing it right.
Whether we are attending classes part-time or full-time in the pursuit of a higher education, we are all proud to be Ichabods.