Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Mid-Semester Madness

How could two months have passed already!? I’ve only been here since September, but my time here is quickly dwindling. It’s been academically intensive as essays and due-dates intermingle with social events and itineraries! But first, let’s touch bases on the academic rigor:

It’s essentially expected of the ideal student to rise and shine at a reasonable hour – regardless of what classes are underway that day. Contrary to what I’m used to in the United States; it’s a 9 – 5 work day ; so even if I don’t have classes, the day needs to be devoted to studies and revision. Now, since I’m studying the social sciences (Scottish Literature and Philosophy, along with my Psychology major), I have copious amounts of never-ending reading that is expected of me. However, that means I won’t always get to all of those readings. And honestly, I don’t like feeling like the ignorant kid who didn’t do her work before class. I don’t like having just a vague  idea of what we’re learning.

To amend this, I recently attended an induction ceremony specially for international students on on how to prepare myself for the mid-semester essays. I’m relieved to have seen other students overwhelmed by the amount of reading we have to do (one professor on the panel even admitted that she assigns more work than she expects students to do) – but at the same time, still antsy about the academic expectations over here.

I’m not used to having various lecturers, additional tutorials and few assessments to determine my mark. I’m used to being able to have time for all my extracurricular activities and hobbies while maintaining a job and keeping up with studies. Doing work for courses is constantly running in the back of my mind as I go about my daily activities; when I’m cooking, shopping, hanging out with friends or planning for a trip, all I can think about is how much work I should be doing. I try to be thorough in all that I do, so it’s tough to feel powerless; it’s tough to be told that I’m supposed to feel like this.

So far I’ve turned in two essays and am anxiously awaiting marks, while another essay will be due in 2 weeks. Though this is my last year in university, I think it’s time to go into turbo mode! It’s been tough, but I’m determined to make it through these last six weeks with flying colors!

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