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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

You will be stressed, you will cry, you will succeed. They say to graduate within 4 years at the university level you must be prepared to ‘think 30’ which means that as a student you must take 15 units a semester.

In Fall 2023 I took 19 units as a communication major and I would be lying if I said it did not take everything in me. For context, fall semester was a busy time for me. I had just joined HerCampus, started a rock climbing club at school, did an internship online, and worked part time on Rover. 

If you are going to take these many classes there are a few things I recommend that you ask yourself before taking on a workload like this. These questions I think will help you determine what you might need or what you already have in order to do something like this.

First, do you have a support system? A network of people who are taking a lot of classes like you, friends that you can rely on to hear you vent, or a family that does not mind sending you cartons of milk when you simply do not have the time to leave your house and walk half a mile to your local grocery store.

The second thing to ask yourself is do you have time? Theoretically, a four unit courses should consume about 12 hours a week of your time which means that I should have been working 76 hours a week on school work between being in lecture and asynchronous work. In reality I worked dedicated homework 8 hours a day and attended all of my classes. 

The third and most important question is, do you really need to do this? I felt like I needed to do this because I wanted to keep my early graduation date and I knew that I would want the time over summer and over winter break. I saw it as a sacrifice so that I only had to take 12 units for the remainder of my time in college because I wanted more time to build my social network, and look for more concrete part time and full time jobs. 

During this process I learned a lot about myself and my biggest lesson is to expect your plan to go wrong. This may sound pessimistic but on a Sunday you will feel rested and that you can take on the world. This feeling changes though by Tuesday when you already want it to be Friday. So make gaps in your plan, plan to give yourself grace, know when you feel sluggish and instead of forcing yourself through, plan for it and accommodate. 

Another lesson I learned was to ground yourself in reality. Change happens and there are often repercussions especially when you plan things out. When the world is a spinning vortex around you it is important to be able to ground yourself in your reality. I am a visual person and so instead of telling myself all of the things I have to do I write them down, add three columns to the side with started, in progress, and done and get going. 

The final lesson is to appreciate the little moments of joy. Those moments where the minute you get to the bus station and the bus is there, or you turn in a paper when you did not think you were going to, or the laughs shared with good friends over coffee fills you with warmth. These little moments of bliss are there and the more you work the more you realize that these moments are what we are all chasing the little time of comfort created just for us.

Jessica Sheppard

San Francisco '24

I am originally from Sacramento and am earning my bachelors and masters degree at San Francisco State and pursuing both degrees in communications. In addition to being assistant editor on SF State's HerCampus I am the president of the rock climbing club on campus. I enjoy writing culture, life, and experiences articles. My LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-sheppard-sfsu/