Before coming to the main campus, I mentally prepared and told myself that the entire studying process is going to be much more difficult than what I have experienced so far and, as it turns out, I was right. But, I needed this and I am very glad to have found myself here. My motivation, my driving force for this semester has simply been the idea that I am living an entirely different life, for however short the experience might be.
Since we are past the first half of the semester, let me give you a hint of what’s to come when you find yourself in the 9th week of classes. I have had two midterm exams so far, two midterm papers, approximately two quizzes each week, and I have another midterm and quiz coming up this week. When the time of midterms and finals comes, you will be able to notice how busy everyone is and you might even have a hard time finding friends to hang out with during the weekend.
In most of my classes, the course load is quite heavy yet manageable. Of course, this may depend on your major and the classes you are taking. Readings, along with your class notes, are generally the most important components of the class and you’re expected to keep up with them, especially in discussion-based classes. For instance, I have an entire class based on discussions among students and half of the people in that room are graduate students. If you have not done your readings, you will not be able to participate and you will not do well on your quizzes (or exams, or papers!). The complete opposite of this course, is another one that does not require readings, but is entirely based on the professor’s lectures and the notes you take, forcing you to stay focused through the entire class so that you don’t miss any important information.
I have been lucky to have had my midterms dispersed in 3 different weeks, but, I have to say, they have been the most intensive, busiest weeks since I came to Rochester! Even though the same kind of mood hits me after I finish my exams at my home campus in Kosovo, I have no time to worry about them here. There are so many fun events taking place on campus, choosing between going to any of those events or going to sleep becomes one of your biggest problems!