October has come and gone! That means midterms and papers, one after the other. High school course load is a lot different than in college. So, I think it’ll be helpful if I give a little sneak peek into how I manage my coursework and other commitments.
Just as a disclaimer, I am majoring in International Relations and Community Health. So, your coursework could look very different. In general, engineers tend to have more. But I think it’ll still be useful anyways!
Right now, I am writing this at Tisch working my closing shift (11:00pm-1:00am) on a Thursday night. When it’s slow, we are allowed to do some school work. I work at the circulation desk, where I help my peers, and sometimes faculty, find books, lend materials, etc. I started this semester, and it’s not too demanding so I recommend it if you are looking for an on-campus job. A pro tip to finding a job on campus is to go talk to the person in charge in-person. Emails can get dodged, sad I know, but showing up in-person says a lot already.
Currently, I am taking 5 classes and they are between 10:30 in the morning to the latest one ending at 6:45pm. One thing that I did not know before coming to college was how you do not have all your classes every day. They are usually paired (Mondays & Wednesdays or Tuesdays & Thursdays). I think this is helpful because, honestly, I cannot imagine having all 5 of my courses every day. Classes are usually 75 minutes long, but elective classes can vary. For example, my friend takes a painting class and that runs three or four hours. Also, big classes, usually the core classes, tend to have recitations where you are split into smaller groups and have a TA (Teacher’s Assistant) to help you with any questions or concepts you didn't quite understand in the lectures. In addition, you should take advantage of office hours. I’m going to be real and say that I was not very active in going to office hours as a freshman but I definitely wish I was.
So when do I do my assignments and study for my classes? I usually have an hour gap or even two sometimes in between classes. So, I just go to the library and just work. I usually try to finish at least half of my work during the day since my nights are usually busy with work-study, club meetings, or other social commitments. I think it’s important to note that in college, it’s common to feel like you’ve been running around all day but feel not as accomplished as you would like and that’s okay. One thing that truly saves my life is the Google Calendar app on my phone (#not sponsored). If you don’t have it, you should at least give it a try!
Another important thing to note is to have fun and remember to enjoy your time here on campus! I know you’ve probably heard this a million times but I really do mean it. College shouldn’t be strictly work and classes. It is important to take time out of your day or spend one of the weekends with your friends and go out to Boston for example. This Saturday, I am going out to China Town with a couple of my friends to grab lunch and shop. It’s been suspiciously warm even though it is already mid-October, so I see a lot of people studying or just hanging out on the Prez lawn. Indeed, school is essential, but college should also be a time where you explore and grow from those experiences.
I hope this helped to get a little peek at how academics and managing work can look like. I wish you luck!