I would like to offer a couple of thoughts on this subject based on my own personal experience as a student and on observation of present-day college students.
Many students take more courses than the school requires. It seems as if a lot of young people are anxious to get into college, and then, after they have been in college for a year or so, they are anxious to get out. I think students would be well advised to take the minimum number of units each semester or each quarter. Less is more. They would learn more and experience less stress and anxiety. I remember talking to one young man who was getting close to graduation. He told me he was going to take seven courses in two summer sessions--four in one six-week session and three in the other. I have no doubt he passed all of them because he was smart and young; but I doubt that he really got much out of any of them except grades and units.
I think focusing is very important. And the best way to focus in studying, it seems to me, would be to study only one subject each day, or night, and to put all the other books and papers clean out of sight. Sometimes this would not be possible, but I think it would be possible most of the time. If a student spends, say, one hour on history, then an hour on science, and another hour on English--isn't that bound to be confusing for most ordinary mortals?
These days I see both boys and girls going to a local university with enormous backpacks that remind me of Christian in Pilgrim's Progress. How much tonnage do they really need on their backs for one day at school? The backpacks seem like visible signs that they are taking on too much work? A person can only absorb so much learning in a day. A person can only sit through so many lectures a week without becoming catatonic and feeling 'burned out."
If I had it to do over again, I would take five or even six years to get a bachelor's degree. And I would try to take courses that were interrelated, so that I could apply what I was learning in one course to another course, and vice versa.
I have attended a number of commencement exercises over the years. The graduates are always ecstatic. Some are wearing bathing suits under their graduation gowns. They seem to think that the worst is behind them, whereas the worst is really ahead of them. Many will look back at their college days as a sort of paradise lost.