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Conquering the quarter | The Triangle

Conquering the quarter

Photograph courtesy of caio_triana at Pixabay

The quarter system that Drexel University operates under is one that can be quite overwhelming, especially if you haven’t ever experienced this type of system before. The main aspect that some people have trouble with is the speed. Because each quarter is only 10 weeks, classes go very quickly and professors have to fit as much important information as they can into the 10 weeks.

Personally, I struggled quite a lot with the quarter system during the entirety of my freshmen year, especially during the fall term. I recall taking Introduction to Analysis, and struggling to keep up with all of the material that was being covered each week. Math has never come to me very easily and because there were only 10 weeks in the term, the professor had to move from topic to topic quickly so we would be ready for each exam. Of course, some people in the class were fine with this, but I would have much preferred spending more time thoroughly covering the topics that I was struggling to understand.

Although the quarter system can feel too fast-paced at first, there are a few things that I did to make the overall experience go much smoother. Firstly, making the most out of the office hours of your professors is incredibly important, especially if there is something that you need help with in regards to the class. This may seem like a no brainer, but a lot of people don’t make full use of their professors’ help outside of class. This is perfectly understandable though, I myself am no exception, as being a college student can sometimes mean that you are incredibly busy and have no time to meet with a professor during office hours. However, if you find yourself spending several hours trying to wrap your head around something with little to no success, then you’re probably better off going to talk to your professor who could potentially help you understand it in just a matter of minutes.

In addition to getting help and clarification from professors when needed, I also found time management to be an incredibly important factor in having success in the quarter system. Because of the speed at which classes move, it is easy to fall behind in a class if you aren’t prioritizing class assignments and homework properly. Falling behind in a class is of course a bad thing, having to devote more time to one class in order to catch up can potentially cause you to fall behind in other classes, which will end up making the whole quarter more difficult than it needs to be.

One other thing that helped me out a lot during my first term at Drexel was staying ahead of my class work. Having assignments done a couple of days before they were due lifted a massive weight off my shoulders. Finishing an assignment early means that you won’t have to worry about it anymore and the fewer things you have to worry about the better. Getting assignments done early also means that you will have more time to revise them if need be and there will be a much lesser chance of them getting turned in late.

There were a lot of different things that I did to make my initial experience at Drexel as stress free as possible, but the three I mentioned helped the most and they are applicable to everyone as well. However, it’s important to keep in mind that as a college student, you are more than likely going to have some stressful moments during a term especially if this is your first one. College is one big learning experience and classes are not the only things that can create problems for us as students which is why it’s important for us to make things as easy and manageable as possible for ourselves.