Intro to your last college semester should be a class, where you learn how to modify your class schedule throughout your 4 years in college so that your last semester is full of impactful classes, and tons of hours of relaxation. For me, that “class” was offered by all my older friends, and I am of course here today to teach you how to properly do this yourself. As my friend, Nathan Mathai, once called this phenomenon, the 7 years of friendship at Furman are the best and worst thing that can happen to you. On the one hand, as a freshman you have senior friends that can offer you advice, and as a senior you have freshman friends that you can be helpful to. On the other hand, every year you either lose a bunch of your friends (as in they graduate), or you yourself become distanced from your friends that you could once find on Furman’s campus. Anyways, I am completely off topic, but HELLO I AM A MELANCHOLIC SENIOR SO I HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE ALL CHEESY AND MELODRAMATIC, K?
Okay. Here are the steps to success:
- Take AP/IB classes in high school. If there’s one thing I have to say saved me from being extremely busy 100% of the time, that was underloading for two semesters. I came in with IB credit for 3 classes, which saved me from having to take one HB class, and allowed me to underload twice. There are two types of intense classes for Chemistry majors: those where you have to study for 4 hours a day, and those that you have to make your lab your new home. I loved taking both of those types of classes (which were Bio-organic chemistry, and Techniques), but oh my lord would I still have my sanity/have stayed involved in all my extracurriculars/ have any friends if I didn’t underload during those semesters. Every major has its hard classes and you gotta be prepared to deal with those. Also useful if you are interested in double/triple majoring!
- Take MayX courses. Whether those are on campus, or someplace else, you basically get to learn things in a more fun way, you get 2 credits for 3 weeks of classes, and you gain 10-20 new friends! Also, on campus MayX are already included in your tuition, so you’d only have to pay for housing to do one!
- If you can, take intro classes up until your Junior year. With some departments this might be much harder to do, but one of my best decisions was taking intro to Philosophy Junior spring, and now it has become the major I will not graduate with but I enjoy the most. This semester I had 2 chemistry classes left to count towards my major, so I filled the rest of my schedule with a philosophy class, and a half-philosophy based class.
- If you come here knowing what you want to major in, sit down with your advisor early on in your semester and make a game plan for your classes spread out in the 8 semesters. This is how you can plan ahead for a potential semester abroad, declaring a second major, taking a semester off for working a full-time internship, or graduating early!
- If you come knowing you like a bunch of things, look up the class requirements for each major you’re interested in and make sure you have enough time to decide before you declare. For example, chemistry requires 13 chemistry classes, 3 math, and 2 physics classes. Some other majors might only require 7 classes from their department and maybe 1 more class. You could wait to declare your major in the second case, but you don’t have that luxury in the case of Chemistry (and of course some other majors that I’m too lazy to look up).
- Take most of your GER’s (General Education Requirements) in the first 2 years here. Stressing out about your TA or HA credit as a second semester senior is NOT fun.
- Finish up your CLP credit requirements early. My freshman year I went to 20 CLPs for which I got credit, so for the past 2.5 years I only had to go to 12 more events. I’ve been to more than 12 obviously, because I personally love CLPs but I don’t always swipe my ID because I don’t need the credits anymore. But it’s kind of funny to me how some seniors still have 20 CLPs to go. Like homeboy/homegirl, when are you gonna live life?
- Become friends with the professors. If you talk to them on a regular basis, and show interest in their class, they are much more likely to give you that last spot in their high demand class that you NEED to graduate/you REALLY want to be a part of because you heard it’s fun. Just saying, that’s how I got into a high-demand history class last semester (shout out to Dr Day for ALWAYS being the coolest professor on this planet and for making me love history).
These are the things I did and look at me now: a spring semester senior with NO CLASS ON MONDAYS AND FRIDAYS! Yay for 4-day weekends. I’m telling you, all you need in life is the desire to plan, a good planner (I’m personally not about the online calendars), and a set of good eyebrows. Good eyebrows will take you places kiddos.
These are my 2-cents fam. Think of those as you’re planning your college career. Senior year might seem so far away, but trust me, you won’t even realize how fast the 4 best years of your life go by.
Peace out, squad.