It’s so weird to think that we are already halfway through the quarter. Time has really flown by, and I feel like I have only just started to settle in and got used to my new surroundings. I guess since this is the halfway point, it’s a good time to reflect on all the things that have happened so far.
One thing I don’t think I will get used to though, is the amount of homework every week. I feel so overwhelmed that I have noted down all my assignments, presentations, etc. in three different apps on my phone and on my computer, just to keep track of it all! Back home, there is not a lot of homework per se. The professors don’t check whether you have read for the lectures or show up for class. There is a lot more “freedom” in that regard. Of course, freedom comes with responsibility so it’s important to learn how to manage your own time. Instead of weekly homework, the norm for most of the courses involves one or two projects or presentations during the semester that will partially count towards the final grade, but the final exam will always be the most important part of your grade. In addition, there are usually no midterms either.
There are pros and cons to every structure: With more frequent assignments and midterms, there is less pressure for the final exam. However, it can be difficult to catch your breath throughout the semester. Multiple times thus far, I have been in the scenario where I would be relieved about finishing an assignment, thinking I was finally done, only to remember I had another one or two more due the next day. It really is a lot! Of course, it doesn’t exactly help when you’re a perfectionist like me because it means that I usually spend extra time on each assignment – as in more time than what’s intended. I just can’t help but do my best. I don’t like doing things half-heartedly.
With the structure at my home university, it can be very easy to fall behind since there is no one checking up on you to see if you are doing your work. The lack of deadlines can be rough if you don’t manage your work properly, which might cause you more work in the end as the stress keeps on piling up from any assignments or readings you may have neglected previously. Though, with the extra freedom, it’s easier to make plans – regarding friends, family, or work.
It might be obvious, but I prefer the structure of my home university. I think it probably comes down to what you’re used to, in the end. Maybe it will make me appreciate that structure a bit more for my last semester before my master’s thesis when I come back home. Hopefully, Drexel will help me learn to manage my time better for when the time comes as well – I definitely need it.