4 Classes at Dartmouth is a Lot?
Dartmouth's unique calendar and quarter system leads to an academic lifestyle different from most. Semester-focused schools normally have four to five classes per semester, with months to cover the material in each class. At Dartmouth, however, students take three classes for each ten-week term. This means that while we are only taking three classes at a time, we have a little over two months to learn and work with all of the content in the class.
This quarter, since I am remote and have more time on my hands, I'm adding a fourth course to my schedule. It was a tough decision, but I thought that it could be a good idea. Taking an extra class allows me to finish more prerequisites and explore more content that I'm interested in. I realized that having an off-campus term won't always be an option, and the idea of four classes on campus is simply exhausting. All of these reasons convinced me to undertake this endeavor, and now, almost halfway through the term, I'm reflecting on how things have been.
Four classes is no joke. With the baseline three, Dartmouth already feels extremely intense. Because we have ten weeks to master entire courses, life moves quickly in Hanover. With exams sometimes occurring in the second full week of classes and consistent large assignments and essays, there isn't time to flounder. With an additional fourth class, the intensity is only heightened. I spend hours on end working away at different assignments, only getting up from my desk for essential reasons.
While my description of this lifestyle sounds bleak, I can guarantee it isn't, and I'm glad I made the decision to take four classes. This is because I enjoy the work that I'm doing. The content I'm learning in my classes is extremely fulfilling, and I appreciate the amount of effort I'm putting into academics because I feel aptly challenged and simultaneously rewarded. Dartmouth's academic schedule is intense and challenging, but also extremely fruitful and gratifying.
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