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Hit the Ground Walking

Gabe Carrio

It’s time again to return to campus. Classes are going to be back in full swing, and the workload will soon become something to manage. That is, of course, if the professors don’t take their time dishing out the homework over the beginning of the semester.

For the most part, I’d wager that most professors take the beginning of the year slowly, and don’t assign much homework over the first few weeks. The workload will eventually increase and become something you actually have to worry about, but the start of the fall is, more often than not, an easygoing introduction to classes.

One could argue that this promotes laziness or procrastination, seeing as how a lighter workload requires less effort, making it easy to become complacent. That may be true. But I could also argue that I really don’t care. If others become complacent, that’s on them. A lighter workload can’t really be blamed for someone’s tendencies to slack or put work off.

I appreciate the slower rollout, it gives me time to adjust to my schedule and plan out how I’ll tackle assignments later in the semester. Besides, the lighter workload makes it so my nights are much less stressful and/or frustrating. After being in classes all day, then working two jobs, I don’t have the energy to come home and bury myself in assignments. If the first few weeks ease me into the rest of the semester then I’m all for it.

It’s possible that my unwillingness to do a gratuitous amount of homework after a full day of work stems from being a lazy millennial. That would be unfortunate. In all seriousness though, I understand that the homework assigned to me needs to get done, regardless of whatever work I’m doing. But it should be understandable why I don’t want to do it, which is why I prefer the lower amount of homework to begin, and the slow ramp-up into the semester.

I can handle greater amounts of work once I’m comfortable in my classes. Once I’ve got a sense of what’s going on, I can handle whatever my professors throw at me. If the semester starts and I walk into class on the first day to be met with a syllabus filled with assignments, the first few being due the next class, I’ll feel overwhelmed pretty quickly.

I understand the argument behind keeping a steady rollout for assignments from the get-go, and I’m sure if I worked less I might even prefer it. But for this student, I’d like to keep the beginning of the semester lax, that way I can put off my annual addiction to Monster energy drinks.

Steady from the Start

Jaime Mailloux

The class work is inevitable. You can’t run and you can’t hide. No matter where you, go the class work will follow.

The relentless research papers, the weekly chapter overviews you never want to write and those dreaded posts to Blackboard. It’s all an inevitable truth we must face, but it can be manageable if it’s thought through.

Of course, this is mostly dependent on you and your work ethic, learning style and how you manage yourself. Teachers also play a big part of the students’ ability to handle their workload.

We all know the teachers that don’t really assign work the first month, and it’s seemingly great at the time. Don’t be fooled. Teachers have to fill up that grade book at some point and you don’t want that to be when you’re in the midterm/finals grind that we all find ourselves in.

It’s far easier to have a teacher who assigns a steady and reasonable amount of work throughout the semester. You know what is expected of you, you know what’s coming and there is no surprise onslaught of work to ruin your party weekend.

Another reason to have a teacher who assigns work consistently throughout the semester is that you can better track how you’re doing in your classes. When the teacher packs on the work closer to the end of the semester, if you don’t know the material there is little time to get it together and change those grades. While when teachers handout work steadily you can see where you’re at, and if it’s not where you want to be you have the time and ability to change it.

You can also get complacent when you don’t start off with any work, then with a sudden influx of work it could be quite jarring. Suddenly what you thought was easy street has you working overtime just to keep your head above water. This is especially true when you have a whole bunch of other classes that you need to worry about as well. One class going south can mess up your entire groove.

Not assigning work at the beginning of the semester is just putting off the inevitable. Procrastination always makes things more stressful and pressuring. It simply never ends well. Hope that you have teachers that understand and appreciate a good work balance. It’s better to hit the ground running then to get a late start to the race.

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