Adjusting to the Drexel lifestyle | The Triangle

Adjusting to the Drexel lifestyle

Photo courtesy Drexel University
Photo courtesy Drexel University

Drexel University is a big school with dozens of programs to choose from, fruitful with opportunity and thriving with people trying to do something with their lives.

I’m certain that many people have heard that the “Drexel Experience” was going to be something different than most traditional colleges. We freshman do not know the tricks of the trade yet but, we’re all out here trying to make it work. And sometimes, that’s all you can do.

Nobody really knew what they were in for when they moved their bags in on Sept. 10, and honestly, as that first week went by, it even lowered our defenses. The first two weeks of class were a little bit of a shock to the system compared to the first week of fun and games.

I feel like I adapted pretty quickly to the pacing and the mechanics of the quarter system at the beginning of the term. It was almost as if everything that they tried to force feed us in high school was actually worth something and starting to make sense.

I felt like I was so ready to handle the hustle and bustle that was college, and ready to grab life by the horns. Things took a turn for the worst though, as the pacing tripped into second gear.

From engineering to philosophy, from biology to business, everybody has their own bag of troubles. I myself, live out my days here as a film and video student, and let me tell you, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows at Westphal.

What started off as a simple schedule only having classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, turned into all-out mayhem real quick. Most people gasp when they realize I have a four-day weekend every week, but that free time quickly dwindled as more activities were added to my routine.

The days that I am in class are super busy because most of my classes are two to four hours long, and those days leave me exhausted. And when I’m not in class, I’m balancing a job, volunteering and working on projects.

And the projects I do on a weekly basis are not easy by far. Few people at Drexel understand the struggle of checking out tons and tons of equipment for camera projects.

Also, when it comes to editing, be prepared to spend hours in the lab. Other majors in Westphal have it rough too. It doesn’t really matter what you study.  You’re going to take on a heavy workload either way.

The main problem a freshman at Drexel must deal with is time management. The quarter system is not nearly as hectic as many think, but it still forces people to get things done by deadline, no exceptions.

The first few weeks are alright and it’s easy to swim along just fine. That all changes around week 6, when the waters begin to splash and the waves begin to rush. It’s been a constant struggle of trying to keep my head above water, because one false move, and I drown.

Now are times where you can’t afford to drop everything and take a mental break, because if you zone out for five minutes in class, you basically missed the entire lesson. Trying to stay strong and keep up with everything that comes my way is so taxing, it takes a lot out of me.

There are some students who now feel as if they have already drowned.

“As unconventional as being a philosophy major is, my major has opened my eyes to a world of possibility and has challenged me accordingly. My major isn’t easy, and my grades surely reflect that,” Niayla-Dia Murray, a freshman studying philosophy said.

It’s a cruel world out here, and it’s only fitting that we have one engineering major tell it like it is.

“From an engineering standpoint, the first term has been a very challenging one. It’s not high school anymore, so there’s a lot of adjusting. Often times it’s work on top of work on top of work, and you just wonder how you’re gonna make it through. I wouldn’t have made it through without my family and friends helping me along the way,” Lucas Etim said.

Everyone has their own version of this story, but for some students, they are taking things in stride.

“I feel like a big part of being a business major is meeting people and talking to them. All I do is network with people day in and day out, and while it’s not a part of my grade, it’s a part of my success,” undeclared business major Ada Li said.

So Drexel has definitely been quite a difficult time for most of us. It’s forced us to adjust and adapt, so that we’ll be stronger people when we come out of it. Ten weeks is not really a lot of time to get things done, and while it can be bad news as well as good news, the terms are normally over before they even start.

It hasn’t been easy finding the ins and outs here at Drexel, and it’s only going to to get harder, but there’s a reason why we’re all at this school. Truth be told, it may be a slightly different kind of education, a slightly different experience, but we’re going to survive because we’re a different kind of student.