By Alycia King
Ah, the dreaded capstone course. Is it that time already? Have I really learned enough that I’m just one step away from leaving this school and heading out into the real world? I sure wish there was a simple way for me to find out if I am really ready to take this final step in my college career or not. Here are five ways to find out if a capstone is in your near future!
#1: Just because your friends are ready, doesn’t mean you are.
One by one you’ve watched your peers go through capstone courses and they all came out of it okay – even if they disgruntledly claim they have been tortured a bit. Even though they came out of the course with minimal battle wounds doesn’t mean that you’re ready. Make sure you do what feels right, and don’t fall into the peer pressure of taking one when your friends are.
#2: Take your classes in the right order.
UWGB Communication classes are ordered according to difficulty. Make sure you don’t take a 400-level course before you have finished almost all the 300-levels. When asked about what year a student should consider taking a capstone, Professor Danielle Bina said, “Senior year is preferable, but some students opt for junior year. Comm 480 and 477 should be taken in separate semesters, as well.”
Taking Social Media Strategies at the same time as Cases is a fast and easy way to lose your social life for an entire semester – one of those classes alone can achieve that!
#3: Make sure your time management skills are on point.
These classes require a lot of work outside of class time; scheduling group meetings can become very challenging at this point in your college career. You don’t just have to worry about your own schedule anymore – you now have to worry about your group members’ work, class, and gym schedules. By the end of the semester, you’ll probably end up knowing their schedules almost as well as yours.
#4: If possible, plan your group ahead of time.
Amy Bauer, 2017 UWGB Communication graduate, says, “I would definitely advise planning your group ahead of time. Group work is an essential element of communication capstone courses. Having a strong group that you can trust is necessary.” When taking these high-intensity courses, your group is more than just a group. They become your family and best friends all wrapped up into one. You cry together and laugh together, but most importantly, you succeed together and it creates a bond that is very hard to break.
#5: Be prepared for stress.
If you don’t work well under pressure or in high-stress situations yet, then you most likely aren’t ready to take a capstone. They’re designed to put you through the wringer. In fact, many students in the Cases in Communication and Media Management course will vividly recall the very first day of class and Dr. Clampitt saying, “You will sweat in places you didn’t even know existed.” He didn’t say anything about falling to the floor after receiving a crisis clue because of high amounts of stress. Personally, I can say yes, it does happen.
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