As a 3rd year student, I’m able to say I’ve taken classes from all levels at university. From 1st year classes in Convocation Hall, to 4th year classes with less than 15 people. However, I didn’t take all the 3rd year classes in my third year or the all the 2nd year classes in my second. While I know this was a risky decision, I also believe it has allowed me to manage my programs in a very personalized way.
This year I’m taking one fourth year class, one third year class, and three second year classes. If I try going into detail as to why I’m doing this, it would probably get too confusing. So for now, I will explain how it helps me handle my work. As we all know, it’s only the third week of classes, so while on one hand we’re still trying to get used to the busy schedule, early mornings and late nights, on the other hand some of us are already getting flooded with assignments, midterms, readings, and what not.
As I learned last year, and as the course codes suggest, 2nd year courses are slightly lighter on workload than 3rd and 4th year classes. In that way, taking two classes on this level appears to be helping me out quite a lot because it balances out my workload. I’ve learned that each level of classes has a different way in which readings should be done. While the 3rd and 4th year classes are not only longer readings and meant to be done in more depth, the 2nd year classes have lighter reading that permits me to skim over them and still be able to grasp what is being said.
We all know that school is not just about readings, we have assignments too. In my 4th year class I’ve been assigned only 2 assignments up until now, but both of these are worth quite a big chunk of my whole grade. To me, this meant that I had to put as much effort as I could into approaching them. After a couple of days of intense reading and a few hours spent in Robarts, I was ready to hand it in. For now, my other classes haven’t asked for assignments with such a high stake, so I know that if I try my best right now to get the best grades possible while all my 5 courses are still manageable, I will certainly be less stressed when things get hectic after midterms.
Although not many of my friends have used this strategy, I think that taking classes from different levels has helped me. Since my second year I’ve been learning how the harder classes will evaluate my work, and so I’ve been able to prepare properly. All in all, I think that not sticking to classes from a single level has definitely made me a better student.