A few years ago as a freshman experiencing my first winter quarter at Davis, I found myself writing this little piece about how the quarter system drives people insane. When I later read that UC Davis has the highest suicide rate among the UC‘s, my inner columnist went off on this little rant. Anyone who has lived in the dorms as a freshman in their first winter quarter will understand:
For the first time since I‘ve moved out and came over all the way to lil ol‘ Davis, I can‘t stand it here.
Someone tell me: What‘s up with the quarter system? We had a two-week break for Christmas, my little sister in high school gets that. After a hectic four months of midterm after midterm after essay after essay, they (and I’m not quite sure who they are) don’t even have the decency to give us a few more weeks off to recuperate. They made us pack all our stuff, unplug the fridge, take our blankets and pillows home and what felt like a few days later, had to lug it all back. And what‘s worse is I live on the fourth floor.
Anyways, so after a short winter break, we start school just as all the other UC and state college students start going on their road trips and big vacations. I had midterms and San Francisco State hadn’t even started school yet. It’s not that they hadn’t started school that really bothers me; it’s that we had just started school. Three weeks into the quarter and I’m stressing about a midterm that is 25 percent of my grade already.
But we are all troopers. We dealt with it. The third week of school I was stuck inside studying for two midterms on a Monday. So I did all that, studied, took the damned midterms and passed with great grades. Phew. Now‘s time for a little refractory period.
Just as I finished my three midterms in a span of a week, I was presented with not one but two lovely papers both due, yet again, within one week. And they are not just essays, they are five-and eight-page papers. Any incoming freshman will soon come to learn the difference between an essay and a paper. An essay you can bullshit and are usually given in class. All you need is five paragraphs and a conclusion and you will be all right. Papers are the spawn of Satan: too many pages to bullshit and not enough pages to write something passionately. You need to reference sources, in both footnote and in-text form, and now you need a bibliography in MLA format. Who even reads that stuff?
And looking at my schedule it looks like I won’t have very much time before the SECOND round of midterms start up. And I would love to say that that will be all until finals. However unfortunately for me and the rest of the UC Davis students, many students have a THIRD midterm before finals completely throw all that effort down the drain.
But that‘s not all. In order to do something with your life you have to do extracurricular activities and get a job so that you can put it on your resume and get a real job. And it‘s not like there are 30,000 students on campus to compete with to get the best school schedule to work with your volunteer schedule and work schedule.
But then: spring break. How fantastic is two weeks off to live it up a little in the nice warm sun going to be? Don’t ask me, I wouldn’t know. As a matter of fact, don’t ask any UC Davis student, they wouldn‘t know. Ask us how pissed we are that we get five days off for spring break, two of which are the weekend, and you will get a thorough response.
I realize some of this is dated, but the intensity of how many midterms and papers and projects hit students so early on and consistently throughout the quarter is unfair.
I‘d like to so suggest that some sort of action needs to be taken, we need to write letters to Mrak, make our voices heard – we demand justice! But I have midterms all week, I just don‘t have the time.
Thug Life, guys.
SARA KOHGADAI thinks that if you feel her pain, you should contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.