Consider taking fewer classes than you think you can handle.

Often during the first week or two of the semester, a student will proudly show off a schedule with 14 units or so which doesn’t conflict with work. However, school is more than just attending class. Even if the teacher explains everything and answers everyone’s questions, you still have to get the understanding and facts into your head. And the facts and understanding have to stay in your head while you’re absorbing new facts and understandings. In other words, the schedule without conflicts likely doesn’t have enough time for preparing for class, going over class notes, asking questions during instructor’s office hours, study sessions with classmates, and on and on.

An academic load with 14 units or so that includes a science class can pretty much be a full academic load. If the student is working 25 or 30 hours a week, then the student is trying to do the work of one-and-a half or one-ane-three-quarters people. It might work for a few weeks, but it often causes Big Problems during the 17-week semester.

People often comment on how hard it is to find a parking space at 9:20 A.M. during the first week of classes and how easy it is to find a park at 9:20 A.M. during the eighth week of classes. Lots of students end up dropping classes. When students drop a class, more often that not it’s because they underestimated the time the class would take and overestimated how much they could do.

If you’re just starting down the road to become a R.N., you’re going to be in school for a long time. Even after you get your R.N., you/re likely to spend more time in school. Your goal should be to pace yourself for the long haul. Leave yourself time to let information sink in, time to get help from the instructor, time for loved ones, time to have a little life apart from work and school, and even a little time for yourself. Years from now, if you’re a good nurse, and at peace with yourself and the world, who’s going to care that you spent an extra year or two along the way? And if you take on more that you can handle and drop and retake classes, you may take that extra year or two anyway—but with lower grades and much more stress.

Most students enjoy school when they have enough time to do well in their classes. Some students even grow to love school. After all, they’re with friends they’ve made, in their chosen field, and learning more about it. Later, students often look back on their years at Ventura College as some of the best years of their life.

The following, which I believe is from Homer's Illiad, says much of this in a beautiful, poetic way.

Junk boatYellow cactus flowerViolet cactus flowerRed cactus flower

Always keep Ithaca fixed in your mind
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage.
It is better to let it last for long years;
and even to anchor at the isle when your are old,
rich with all that you have gained along the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without Ithaca, you would never have taken the road.