120-credit course that is not listed on UIS

One hundred and twenty credits is the average number of credits required to complete a four year undergraduate degree. One hundred and twenty credits may sound like an impossible feat as a freshman, yet it flies by after four years at St. John’s. Luckily for me I earned my 120 credits in the classroom, but I also earned an extra 120 credits outside of the classroom over the last four years.

Although these 120 credits do not go on your transcript, they stay with you for life. Some of the courses I took to earn these credits were classes like living with a roommate, taking the E train after midnight, going on a road trip to West Virginia, watching St. John’s beat Duke at Madison Square Garden or making the 11:15 p.m. shuttle back to the Manhattan Campus.

These unlisted courses are offered to every St. John’s student and sometimes the results can be observed immediately, but sometimes the results won’t be observed until then end of our lives. Take for instance the unpaid internship I completed sophomore year in the marketing department of a financial services company.

Some of the skills I learned certainly related to marketing, like customer relationship management and targeted advertising. However, things like how my boss commuted from New Haven to Manhattan every day earned me some more credits that were not listed on UIS. They were real world experiences.

Students complain about the high cost of college (and rightfully so), but only later in life do you hear adults talking about the time that they lost in college. Time is a currency in college, and although many people don’t place a high level of emphasis on spending time carefully, it’s extremely beneficial to do so.

You can spend this time currency writing for the Torch or even washing dishes at a restaurant; it’s just important to realize that you are spending it and you are comfortable spending it.

St. John’s certainly gives every student guidance in how to spend it. They even mandate it sometimes. Take for instance the University’s laptop program. Your Lenovo ThinkPad might be the worst computer you have ever used, but did you ever consider that St. John’s is implicitly teaching you how to (or not to) make an IT program for an organization?  Whether you are a parent of two or a CEO for a multi-national corporation, this skill will help you and stay with you for the rest of your life, even though it will not appear on your transcript.

The beauty in St. John’s unadvertised 120-credit program is that after graduation (or for some, many years after graduation), you realize you earned these unadvertised credits. Unfortunately, some students transfer out and never realize these credits. I and every St. John ‘s graduate will realize that they have earned these credits and it will make the thousands we spent on this education (both in real money and time money) look like the bargain of a lifetime. The sooner you come to this realization, the more fulfilling your life will be.