First-Year Students with Four Classes in One Day: “Starting with This Schedule Has Not Made Integrating into AUC Life Easier”

By Roan Jorna

Collage by Maria Mazurek

16 first-year students have all four of their classes on both Tuesdays and Fridays of the Fall 2022 semester, and are consequently stuck at the academic building from 9:00 to 18:00. When these students requested for their schedule to be changed, they were told that they “belong to those unlucky few for whom no solution was found.” As the semester comes to an end, questions arise as to how these “unlucky” students have been managing the scheduling irregularity and what the Admissions and Registrar team is doing to address this moving forward. 

Unanimously, those interviewed shared that their schedule makes it difficult to properly prepare for classes. Zoë Vriends, a first-year Science student, shares that, “after a while, it all just gets jumbled up in my brain,” since she must complete all her coursework for the same day.  

Vriends also feels that this schedule is an inconvenience, which requires an unnecessary amount of organisation: “This would be a lot easier if the classes are spread throughout the week,” she says. Although, Vriends appreciates that the extra freedom on class-free days provides her with more time to participate in social activities. “I have a very active social life, maybe even a little too active,” she says. 

Anna Hutchings, also a first-year Science major, similarly recognises that planning for social activities is made easy with five class-free days, but the schedule becomes particularly tiring otherwise: “I feel like after two classes I get quite tired and my brain needs a rest.” She often finds herself going through slides they went over in class again because she can’t pay attention. Despite these challenges, it is said to have  a limited effect on Hutchings’ academic performance since she plans ahead effectively.

This particular AUC schedule has, however, made it difficult for Hutchings to schedule work hours outside of classes. She finds herself too exhausted to work on Tuesdays and Fridays after four classes, but is also hesitant to work on Monday and Thursday nights as her classes start in the early morning of the following day. 

Another first-year student, who wishes to remain anonymous, had a more isolated experience. They often studied at home since there is no need to be in the Academic Building on their class-free days. This was detrimental to their mental health, as there were days where they did not see anyone: “Starting with this schedule has not made integrating into AUC life easier.” As of now, they no longer study at home as frequently.

All of the students interviewed stressed that they would prefer a course schedule more spread out over the week. As an unspoken rule, the Admissions and Registrar team tries to avoid concentrating all of a student’s courses on singular days. According to the Admissions and Registrar team,  “Normally, it would be our policy to spread the course load over the course of the week.” However, there was no capacity to move the affected students to other groups this semester due to a last-minute reduction in teaching staff since several professors had fallen ill. The Admissions and Registrar team claims to be working on increasing AUC’s pool of qualified lecturers to prevent this from occurring in the future. 

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