College 101: two tips to prevent being a “Super Senior”


The fifth year college student, or “Super Senior” is becoming more and more common these days. I’m pretty sure that, while the reasons vary, most fifth year seniors are where they are because of mistakes they made as Freshman. Whether its not taking enough classes, failing, or not being aware of all of your requirements, several hangups can delay your graduation. Here are two of the big culprits and how to avoid them.

The very first thing you should do when first choosing classes is figure out how many you need to take. At my school (and I’m pretty sure most others) I need 123 credit hours. Divide into 8 (4 years at 2 semesters each) and that brings us to 15 credits per semester. Don’t short change yourself and “take it easy” your first semester. Unless you are holding down a full time job, 15 credits shouldn’t be a problem. My roommate sophomore year was a new transfer and opted for only 12 credits (the minimal a full-time student at Temple can take). He had tons of free time and regretted it.

Go into freshmen year knowing EXACTLY what you need to take during your time at school. If you are undeclared this may be difficult. But don’t just take basket weaving and toenail clipping or you’ll have to take all of your requirements (read: harder classes) during the backend of your college career. Now this doesn’t mean kill yourself with all of the hard stuff, you will want the end to be easy to allow for jobs, internships, or doing your own thing.

See all “College 101” posts here.

[tags]Super Senior, college 101, graduation[/tags]

3 Responses to “College 101: two tips to prevent being a “Super Senior””

  1. Dennis Says:

    I think finding time to become active as student leaders on campus, as well as finding good internships, are essential to college success.

  2. Jennifer Says:

    In general, I agree with you…but I’d add that engineering has pretty much become a 5-year degree. It’s okay to take an extra year, a lot of people do, and I’d recommend sticking to a low amount of credit hours to keep from burning out or overloading. If you can fit in more, do a side project with one of the engineering societies on campus and get some hands-on experience.

    Not taking all of your easy classes at once is really important for an engineering major. General education requirements should be rationed out, as stated in the original post, or engineers especially will suffer.

  3. Joy Says:

    Actually, it’s not hard to take the necessary courses and be active in school at the same timme. It just requires time management.

    In response to Jennifer’s comment, low amount of credit hours is detrimental to your future job. how does it look to an employer to see that?