By: Connor Lenahan
I’ve noticed something. This has been true not just of me, but everyone I know at Boston University, everyone I know at Penn State, everyone I know at Pitt, and beyond. This is a college thing tried and true. With every semester students will take a given number of classes. Based on an entirely unscientific poll I just took of myself and myself it appears that the average is four classes. Thanks to those four classes running the same amount of time – one semester each – they tend to overlap in a few areas. For example, the first week or so is dedicated to introductions. The first day really is saved for what is going to happen in the class and the necessary bookkeeping. But this parallelism becomes troubling in weeks like this past and this future one for my friends and I.
This past Friday I had an eight page paper due for my History of TV class. I also had a short story script due that same afternoon. This upcoming Monday I have my first test in Spanish. The Monday after that I have a test in my Natural Science class. I made it out relatively lucky. Some friends have as many as four exams on the same day.
This is a problem with parallel schedules. The workload reaches the same peaks and valleys as the others at the same moment. This creates unhealthy workloads for certain weeks. I, currently, work two jobs on campus in addition to going to class and writing daily. This is before we get to the amount of studying and homework I must do. To throw on a script that I must write from scratch due the same day as a midterm paper is borderline demonic.
This is, of course, unintentional. Every class has their own schedule to keep. It just so happens that the flow of the classes for every professor I’ve had at BU and many that my friends have had at their previously mentioned schools match up to a frustrating degree.
I understand this. I understand that it is done with no malice – or if it is, it isn’t clear. The problem isn’t whether or not it’s intentional, the problem is that it exists.
I’m probably making an argument for too perfect a world, too utopian a vision of the collegiate educational system, to say that the university should figure out ways of reducing cramming of this level. But I don’t care, I’m going to make it. This is unhealthy. It’s overworking already overwhelmed kids. Just figure out a way to help. I’m not saying get rid of assignments, as that would be counterproductive, but instead to communicate with the staff to have some understanding of the workloads faced. I am only a COM major and I’m overtaxed. I cannot imagine the stress on my engineering friends.
It might be impossible, but let’s at least make sure it is before declaring it. I’m not asking for a lot. Just some help. That’s all.