8 Important College Terms You *Need* to Know If You're An Incoming Freshman

by Renee Isabella Aguila   |  6 days ago
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Are you ready to take on college? There’s a lot to be excited about such as the unique environment, people to meet, and lessons you’ll learn. It’s a ~*whole new world*~ out there but you should definitely be equipped with the right knowledge to guide you on this journey. This means having to learn certain words and terms that you’ll often run into in the uni life.

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If you don’t know yet what’s a “GWA” or an “elective,” don’t worry because we gotchu! We’ve prepared a list of eight college terms you should know as a freshman:

LIST: 8 Important Terms You Need to Know If You're An Incoming Freshman

1. General Weighted Average

A term that you’ll regularly encounter throughout your studies would be your General Weighted Average (GWA). This basically is a numerical representation of the grades in all the subjects you’ve taken in a particular semester or term. There’s also the Cumulative Grade Point Average which is your overall grade for all the subjects you’ve taken so far. In computing your GWA, this may depend on your school’s grading system. So better check that out to know what grades to aim for to maintain your standing and to ~*pass*~ each year of your studies. 

2. Units

When printing your student enrollment sheet, you’ll probably see your list of subjects, schedule, and respective units. A unit is how much time is devoted to each subject you’re taking. One lecture hour can mean one unit of credit, while some courses that are more hands-on have different unit equivalents such as five hours for three units. Knowing how many units each subject you take can help you manage your schedule better. 


3. Enlistment

During enlistment, students battle it out, Hunger Games- style just to get the subjects, schedules, and professors they want for the upcoming semester. Depending on the school you’re in, some students have an online enlistment wherein they choose subjects from their school’s database and add them to make their own schedule, while others have to endure a manual enlistment on campus by lining up at the registrar’s office. Make sure you always keep in mind your school’s enlistment dates so you won’t miss out on your ~dream schedule~.

4. Flowchart

Upon entering your college years, you’ll probably encounter your flowchart. This file is your ~ultimate guide~ to the subjects you’ll be taking throughout your stay. It lists down not only the subjects you’ll learn but also the order of those subjects you’ll be taking. There are some classes you should enroll in first over others. With that, you should regularly check your flowchart before every enlistment period so you know what subjects you can and cannot take yet for the following semesters. 

5. Course Code

In your college or university, you’ll probably see acronyms and abbreviations of subject names in your records. These course codes describe and organize your subjects in a way that can be easily understood by administrators, professors, and students. It’s easier to remember course codes rather than memorize entire subject names which is definitely more ~convenient~ for everyone.

6. Majors and Minors

For majors and minors, these are subjects that encompass the degree program you’re taking. Majors are specific subject areas in line with your degree. An example is if you’re a Psychology student, you’ll have majors such as Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Psychology. While for minors, these subjects complement your major and can be foundations to your program. Though often looked down upon by most students, minors can give you the basic skills and knowledge you’ll need in your career and life itself. Some minor subjects include Purposive Communication and Mathematics in the Modern World. 

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7. Elective

Aside from the subjects that will be credited towards your degree program, you’re also required to take electives. These are basically subjects students can pick from their college or university’s roster of electives. Electives can help you specialize in a certain area of study within your degree program or simply widen your knowledge outside of your majors.

8. Syllabus

At the start of the term, each of your professors will give out a syllabus. This is a document that outlines all the lessons you’ll be taking for the semester. Additionally, a syllabus may also present the due dates for activities and even your professor’s rules for the class. Make sure to take note of the grading system and rubrics on the syllabus. That way, you’re aware and have been given transparency on how your class activities will be graded. If you’re feeling motivated and ready to learn, you can also use the syllabus as a guide to study in advance for your classes. You can totally become a ~*star student*~! 

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