Whether you’re a freshmen or a senior, the number of credits you take throughout college is important. Now as a freshman, you may not pay as much attention to them, but as senior year gets closer, I advise you to take a look.

Every semester you take classes and in exchange get credits towards graduation. Depending on your major and your school, you will need different amounts—let’s say 122, just for fun—I’m a marketing major! These credits will be made up for electives, major track classes, and of course, required classes that everyone takes. It sounds like a lot, but over time they start to rack up. You will have more credit hours than you ever dreamed of in just a few short years.

Now in theory, that’s great. But, you have to be careful! Credits are important to have as long as they are building toward a degree. You don’t want random credits—it’s like doing work you don’t need. I thought I was on track, I was one of those people who checked every semester to make sure everything was lining up. However, much to my dismay, I received my checklist for graduation in the mail this summer and a few things were out of whack. Some credits don’t fit, some look random, I thought I was a double major? Where’s the line that says that?!

If this happens, don’t panic.

Make an appointment and chat with an office that knows how to make sense of it all. They can help you figure out what goes where, and get you on track. But do this early! Don’t wait for senior year to sneak up on you before you make sure you’re on the right path—if want to walk across the stage, be prepared. There doesn’t need to be a credit crisis, just credit awareness. When you’re aware of your credits, and know what you need to finish where you want, everyone can relax. There won’t be surprises, and no one has to cry. You can enjoy each semester and pick classes with confidence.