End of semester sentiments

Day 121

Well that escalated real quickly (I just had to include this statement mainly because I saw this tweet yesterday about the Google Trends of the word ‘well that escalated quickly’. Anyways, after 16 weeks of consistent studying. Classes have officially ended for me.

I am totally looking forward to wind down in the Summer and plan ahead for the next academic year but I will talk more about that (probably) next week?

But you know what, after doing the same thing over and over for the last 4 months, I feel a little bit sad that classes have ended already. That feeling of parting ways with someone. Why I think this is happening? Well, being in a big university with tens and thousands of students is a challenge itself and one of the direct advantage/disadvantages of having more students is that there will inadverdently be big big classes. And with big classes, often times you don’t have the chance to meet the Professor of the class that often and you will most likely meet up with the Teaching Assistants.

That was pretty much the case for me, technical subjects like digital design and statistics required much care and after Spring Break, I was mostly filling out my extra time at the Tutoring center or meeting up with the Professors and TAs. Before Spring Break, I was like…you know what, I am smart enough, I can do it myself. But then things started to become a little worrying when the course material started being more technical.

This consistent meetings with the TAs and tutors has become my daily routine for the last couple of weeks and now that the semester is done and I have mastered most of the concepts, it’s a little sad to end this trend. Especially with my Philosophy class. I can tell you that I totally struggled with understanding the concepts of that class during the weekly lectures but ultimately, I did learn something about it. Where I learnt most of the concepts is with the TAs, they did an excellent job in explaining the concepts. And unlike the professor which is pretty old already, the TAs (in this context being Graduate students) understand the students better. They can relate to where I come from. I am so gonna miss those weekly review sessions. All the TAs and tutors are real chill, especially those undergraduate TAs, most of them are real good in explaining hard concepts and I find it way easier to understand them compared to the Professor (sometimes, not always).

Throwback to one of the first class activities I did. This was an ice-breaker activity for my English class. Can’t definitively remember when I actually did this…

What can I conclude from all of this. Well, this leads me to another bullet point which is that all of this wouldn’t have happened if the course content is not challenging. Back in Sunway, the courses are always just doing what’s in the book, nothing too radical. But here in the US, lectures are lectures and you’re basically on your own in terms of joining the lines. For the most part, the challenging (and fun bit) is to work your way through the concepts to solve the questions. Frankly speaking, I did not like such an apporach where we need to learn the other half of the concepts by ourselves during the first few weeks of class but after 16 rigorous weeks of doing just that, I think this system is pretty cool actually. It opens up a lot of thinking possibilities and helps to train crictical thinking. This is what Sunway did not teach me, the ADTP program was mostly just spoonfeeding and the best case scenario in terms of American Education.

I am excited for future semesters. Made lots and lots of friends in the last 16 weeks and I am looking forward to getting back into classes in the Fall. But before that happens, I will need to overcome this last push which is the Final Exams.


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