As the semester winds down and spring begins to emerge, students are beginning to feel the stress that is accompanied by the end of the academic year. This stress can stem from many things, but the most common complaint is that there are not enough hours in a day for the things that occur during the spring. Students have class, homework, extracurricular activities and social lives that all need to be accomplished or developed through college. However, at the end of every semester, homework comes to the forefront.
Homework completely dominates a student’s life for the last month of a semester. This could be due to many factors, but one that I find the most convincing is the balance of a class workload. As each student opens their syllabus to check on assignments or plan ahead, they can foresee all the big projects clumped into a month timeline.
Obviously, there will always be a great deal of stress at the end of each semester due to finals. These tests are warranted and fully expected from the start of college, if not high school. What is unaccounted for are the projects, essays and presentations that all lead up to finals. These assignments will undoubtedly occur during any college course, but why place many of them into the last month?
The first portion of the semester seems to afford more free time. A key explanation could be that professors are teaching students how to work with new information to start the semester. They explain key concepts that lead to further understanding of the class. This plan helps set up the rest of the semester, and testing is over the fine details of the course. However, this results in most points of a course being placed within the end of its tenure.
When all the work for students is in close proximity, it eats away all of their time. This results in less devotion to extracurricular activities, social interaction, sleep or focus on completing all the work for a course. These things are not in the best interest of the student, causing them to worry about what is going on within their classes.
If professors would instead place more assignments at the beginning of the semester, it would result in students having more time later in the semester and less stress. Students would still be able to be fully involved in campus life, as well as receiving a healthy amount of sleep. On top of that, students would be forced to learn information for the class sooner and may cause them to retain more. It is in the best interest of every student to be able to complete their work with their greatest effort.
By placing an entire course load of work into a short time span, students are forced to struggle through the load. Every professor is different and each has their course load set up uniquely. However, the combination of course loads seem to overlap in too many places. Hopefully, students will someday to be able to have a fully-balanced workload that works to decrease their worries.