forum Writing tips that you can take with you to college!
Started by @LittleBear group
tune

people_alt 75 followers

@LittleBear group

There is a great age range of writers on here, but I think the majority is high school on the cusp of their university journeys. I'm a second year at a STEM university (even though I am a very liberal arts person). Please post here with questions or general tips for writing in the college sphere. Or just questions about college life in general. Anything goes!

@TryToDoItWrite

I'm curious, how much hw do you get that's writing related? papers or standardized test timed-writing type things?
also, have you had any experience going abroad? my plan is to take a gap year and study in europe for a year so that's pretty exciting but scary and no one i know really has studied abroad

@LittleBear group

So this pretty much depends on what you decide to major. Most universities had general education classes that you must take; ie a math, science, history, english course etc. The college that you will most likely attend is going to have a liberal arts basis, which means that you will graduate with a bachelor of the arts - that was the B.A. on diplomas stand for. My University is slightly different in that I'll graduate with a bachelor of the sciences (a BS degree, lol) meaning that I have to take more STEM based classes in order to actually get my diploma, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. But you can elect to take classes specifically for creative writing at most universities, heck you can take classes for pottery even if you aren't an art major. In my general life though, I'm an International Relations major and so I'm usually reading 60+ pages a night for a single class (you get REALLY good at skimming and BSing, holy crap I can BS my way backwards, blind, out of a minefield now…). But now writing 1200 word essays in a night (if I could stop procrastinating, I could force one out in like 3 hrs.) is pretty normal and that's with citations.

The thing that you might not want to hear, bc I hate hearing it now, is that people will tell you that your writing is way too flowery. The number one thing my professors tell me is "I loved reading your paper, but I need you to get to the point faster, in this field we just need it to be succinct." And inside you will know that they are right but also it will kill you to take out your beautiful imagery and allusions and and and. Ugh. For exams and what not, most of my classes had essay portions that they gave you like three hours for and not a very long word count (my professors love to give word count caps, "like no more than 1200 words"). Some will expect these to be perfect and others just want the substance and are looking for key words, it really just depends on the professor. There comes a point were you have to sacrifice structure for content. But if you are concerned about writing in a time constraint, lots of times you can ask the professor to put the end time on the board and just make sure you have a watch.

As for going abroad, its funny you ask. My college is a little bit different in that … eh I guess I can't get around it, I go to a Military academy so its really hard to get a semester abroad. BUT this summer I am going to Germany for a month to learn about counterterrorism and my school is paying for it (I'm SO excited). From my friends who have done it, they have loved every moment of it. If you happen to go to a country with a different language, you will most likely come away with that language just from being immersed in it. If you coordinated with your college then you could also avoid taking a gap year and have your credits transfer. The big thing is just making sure that you know where the US embassy is and get all of the proper paperwork. Do you have any specific questions about it? I can easily shoot them an email, like John never shuts up about France and he would love an excuse to pontificate.

@TryToDoItWrite

My plan right now is to go to Germany too! I guess I should have said that I do have more of a plan than just to take a gap year and go. I plan to get sponsored by my local rotary club and do an exchange. When I go over there, I'll stay with a host family and retake my senior year of high school so I won't be getting any college credit (sadly) but I'll be free of student debt (yaayyy!!). My main goal would be cultural immersion and to learn German!! My advisor said that she did the same thing and got credit from the college she ended up going to afterward for a culture class and she double majored in German because she was fluent in it. Also it would be a year for me to figure what I'm going to do with my life cause I have no clue……..

@LittleBear group

Ah gottcha! I though you meant take a gap year within your college time and I would generally caution against that. But I say do it! I did something sort of similar and it was a really great time to find value in myself that isn't dependent on a grade marker. We're so indoctrinated to believe that our self worth is tied to our grades bc we go from one graded event to the next, but finding away to measure myself and actions by their actual merit and the joy they brought others was one of the smartest things I could have done. *I'll get off my soap box now. And that second part I can't really help you with, I've been blessed with knowing what I wanted to do from like kindergarten. But to me, and sorry if this is out of bounds, but having the past week of critiques from you it seems that you really have a passion for the literary world. My advice would to think of the thing that comes the easiest to you, that you makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and debate the merits of deep into the night (because those are sometimes not the same thing). For me that is International Politics and Star Wars (like holy shit the amount of amazingly empowered female diplomats is crazy)… and since I can't major in the later one…. But also you dont have to know right now! Mark Twain was kind of a layabout until he was thirty! You've got time!

Kat

Hi! I've got a few questions so bear with me.

First, how many courses do you take, and what are they like? (Both in first year and in second.) Do you share classes/seminars with people of opposite majors? What is your schedule like (as in, do you have like a three-hour class one day and nothing the next)? And, finally, what can you tell me about double majors? (My character is a double major in psychology and communications.)

Thanks in advance!

@LittleBear group

So also, my college is a little bit different but here is what my experience has been.

  1. I take anywhere from 18-22 credit hours a semester. This is slightly more than the average college student. I think in the US you have to be taking 13 to be considered a full time student? Basically meaning tha t you are in class for 13 hours per week. Also most universities require core classes., like one math, one science, language class, literature class, etc. Only once you are done with theses classes can you move on to your major classes. But based on if you took AP or Dual Credit courses in high school you can validate them. Sometimes you can take a major class early. So first week of school you register for your classes and times, 8:30 AM classes are the worst, but some you can take in the evening.
  2. Yup. So you can basically take any class that piques your interest, it doesn't have to be in your major. But also with the core classes are all going to be with people of different disciplines.
  3. Some people have classes like that, but like I said I go to a military university so I have one day where I go from 7:30 to 4:00 with classes all day. The second I only have three classes. It really just depends on the professor. Some of my friends who go to civilian school have one class that is 3 hours once a week and others that are 1 hour that meet two or three times.
  4. So to get a major you have to complete at certain number of hours of work in different requisites. I am not quite sure how a double major works, but I'm sure that you would just add on more classes and make sure that you meet all the requirements for both majors.

Hope this helps!

@AliasAlistiere group

Hi another college student here, thought I'd just drop some info about general community colleges in the US and what not.

-So yes for full time most colleges require a person to take 12-13 credit hours a semester. Each class depending on what it is, is a different amount of credit hours. For example my Intro into Biology course was 4 credit hours, as most science classes tend to be at least 3 hours long (so there's time for labs) they're worth more credit hours. On the other end just about all my other classes tend to be an hour 45 to 2 hour classes and are worth 3 credit hours. There's also sometimes special classes offered outside the normal basic courses that can be worth 1 or 2 credits, like an Intro into College course I took my freshman year. Those tend to be shorter and have odder schedules (my class would meet every other tuesday & thursday). So even though 13 credit hours sounds like a lot, it's actually just 4 or 5 classes a week to be full time.

-Regardless of major every college requires you to take a certain amount of core classes like math, science, English, foriegn language etc. I'm currently an art major and in order to complete my degree i've had to get 6 credit hours in a foriegn language, 9 for English, 8 for science, 3 for math, and so on and so forth. While there's no one saying you have to get your basics out of the way the first 2 years of college, that's typically what a lot of people, myself included, do. So in the basic courses you can end up in classes with people of all sorts of majors. In your major specific courses you probably won't see too many people outside your major unless it's like a basic course and they needed another random class in order to be full time & not lose scholarships, or if the subject just interests them. There are some courses that are only open to people in the related majors, these tend to be the more advance courses. Like Advanced Biologoy 1 & 2 is only open to biology majors. No one is forcing you to just do basic classes though, so there's the option to take some of your classes related to your major off the bat. As long as at some point during your 2 year, 4 year, etc. degree you get all the credit requirements done, you can basically kind of do what you want. The only thing is sometimes specific classes have requirements (like for my foriegn language i needed 2 semesters worth of the same language taken consecutively) or they may only be offered in certain semesters (like in my art classes I had 2 that were only offered in the fall and 2 that were only offered in the spring). Sometimes scheduling can be a bit tricky on your own, so everyone in college gets assigned an advisor who is a professor in the field your majoring in. If you choose to meet with them, they can help you figure out how many classes you want this semester, what time and days will fit your schedule, what you should take in the future etc.

-As for schedules like i mentioned above, most classes are from like an hour and a half to 2 hours, sometimes 3. There are some early morning classes that meet 7:45am at my school. Typically people who take those either: are freshman who don't know any better yet (God rest thier souls), early birds, or people who were desperate to get into a class. There are also some late night classes that are from 6pm to 9, and of course there's classes in between the two time frames. It depends on how many classes your craming in your schedule, but you can either have 5 minutes in between to get to classes or like 2 hours. Typically for days, classes are either scheduled Monday-Wednesday-Friday, Monday-Wednesday, or Tuesday-Thursday. This way the 4 or 5 classes you have gets split up over a few days, so you can end up having 2 on say Mon-Wed, and the other 3 on Tues-Thurs. This is really nice and makes the work load more managble in my opinion. Certain classes are only offered on certain days at certain times (which is why it's recommended to meet with an advisor to make sure there's no potential conflicts in your schedule).

-With most colleges there's also the option of taking online courses for your credit hours. With these classes as long as you get your assignments, tests, discussion posts, etc. in by or before the due date you'll be good. So usually the professors in charge of these will give you the dates of all the assignments ahead of time in the syllabus, and you'll be given the leisure to work on everything sorta at your own pace. I currently have 3 online & 3 in class classes, so mon-wed I literally only have 1 class in the morning, and then I have the rest of the day to work on online work or nap or whatever. Online classes can be nice, but it's easy to forget about them or just plain slack off on assignments.

-I'm not a double major myself, but I think double majoring is basically the same as a single major, but you have to take a lot more classes. I believe you have to make sure you meet the requirements that both individual courses have class wise. So say i was an education & art double major, on top of the overlaping basic courses, I would have to make sure to take my required education related courses and my art courses. At least that's what I believe, I may be wrong so it's best to do some research on that.

For anyone curious I hope this helped~ Sorry it got a bit lengthy though.

klintsmith

Hi another college student here, thought I'd just drop some info about general community colleges in the US and what not.

-So yes for full time most colleges require a person to take 12-13 credit hours a semester. Each class depending on what it is, is a different amount of credit hours. For example my Intro into Biology course was 4 credit hours, as most science classes tend to be at least 3 hours long (so there's time for labs) they're worth more credit hours. On the other end just about all my other classes tend to be an hour 45 to 2 hour classes and are worth 3 credit hours. There's also sometimes special classes offered outside the normal basic courses that can be worth 1 or 2 credits, like an Intro into College course I took my freshman year. Those tend to be shorter and have odder schedules (my class would meet every other tuesday & thursday). So even though 13 credit hours sounds like a lot, it's actually just 4 or 5 classes a week to be full time.

-Regardless of major every college requires you best thesis writing service to take a certain amount of core classes like math, science, English, foriegn language etc. I'm currently an art major and in order to complete my degree i've had to get 6 credit hours in a foriegn language, 9 for English, 8 for science, 3 for math, and so on and so forth. While there's no one saying you have to get your basics out of the way the first 2 years of college, that's typically what a lot of people, myself included, do. So in the basic courses you can end up in classes with people of all sorts of majors. In your major specific courses you probably won't see too many people outside your major unless it's like a basic course and they needed another random class in order to be full time & not lose scholarships, or if the subject just interests them. There are some courses that are only open to people in the related majors, these tend to be the more advance courses. Like Advanced Biologoy 1 & 2 is only open to biology majors. No one is forcing you to just do basic classes though, so there's the option to take some of your classes related to your major off the bat. As long as at some point during your 2 year, 4 year, etc. degree you get all the credit requirements done, you can basically kind of do what you want. The only thing is sometimes specific classes have requirements (like for my foriegn language i needed 2 semesters worth of the same language taken consecutively) or they may only be offered in certain semesters (like in my art classes I had 2 that were only offered in the fall and 2 that were only offered in the spring). Sometimes scheduling can be a bit tricky on your own, so everyone in college gets assigned an advisor who is a professor in the field your majoring in. If you choose to meet with them, they can help you figure out how many classes you want this semester, what time and days will fit your schedule, what you should take in the future etc.

-As for schedules like i mentioned above, most classes are from like an hour and a half to 2 hours, sometimes 3. There are some early morning classes that meet 7:45am at my school. Typically people who take those either: are freshman who don't know any better yet (God rest thier souls), early birds, or people who were desperate to get into a class. There are also some late night classes that are from 6pm to 9, and of course there's classes in between the two time frames. It depends on how many classes your craming in your schedule, but you can either have 5 minutes in between to get to classes or like 2 hours. Typically for days, classes are either scheduled Monday-Wednesday-Friday, Monday-Wednesday, or Tuesday-Thursday. This way the 4 or 5 classes you have gets split up over a few days, so you can end up having 2 on say Mon-Wed, and the other 3 on Tues-Thurs. This is really nice and makes the work load more managble in my opinion. Certain classes are only offered on certain days at certain times (which is why it's recommended to meet with an advisor to make sure there's no potential conflicts in your schedule).

-With most colleges there's also the option of taking online courses for your credit hours. With these classes as long as you get your assignments, tests, discussion posts, etc. in by or before the due date you'll be good. So usually the professors in charge of these will give you the dates of all the assignments ahead of time in the syllabus, and you'll be given the leisure to work on everything sorta at your own pace. I currently have 3 online & 3 in class classes, so mon-wed I literally only have 1 class in the morning, and then I have the rest of the day to work on online work or nap or whatever. Online classes can be nice, but it's easy to forget about them or just plain slack off on assignments.

-I'm not a double major myself, but I think double majoring is basically the same as a single major, but you have to take a lot more classes. I believe you have to make sure you meet the requirements that both individual courses have class wise. So say i was an education & art double major, on top of the overlaping basic courses, I would have to make sure to take my required education related courses and my art courses. At least that's what I believe, I may be wrong so it's best to do some research on that.

For anyone curious I hope this helped~ Sorry it got a bit lengthy though.

Thanks a lot!

@Sweet_Pea

I plan on going to a college in the same state as me incase anything goes wrong so I am close enough to home and my relatives. I also live in a state with a lot of good colleges that are hard to get into (Massachusetts) so I ma work really hard to get good grades so I can get into a good school. (I am trying to get into a creative writing course. Also none of this is for advice I just wanted to share my goals)

@Kefi

I plan on going to a college in the same state as me incase anything goes wrong so I am close enough to home and my relatives. I also live in a state with a lot of good colleges that are hard to get into (Massachusetts) so I ma work really hard to get good grades so I can get into a good school. (I am trying to get into a creative writing course. Also none of this is for advice I just wanted to share my goals)

You got this man! Creative writing is where it's at. Good luck!

@Sweet_Pea

I plan on going to a college in the same state as me incase anything goes wrong so I am close enough to home and my relatives. I also live in a state with a lot of good colleges that are hard to get into (Massachusetts) so I ma work really hard to get good grades so I can get into a good school. (I am trying to get into a creative writing course. Also none of this is for advice I just wanted to share my goals)

You got this man! Creative writing is where it's at. Good luck!

Thank you! This made my crappy day