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Q:

Dartmouth's academics are known for being pretty hard due to the intense courses. Do you think you are still able to balance your workload while having fun?

A: May Oo Khine

Yes, I do find that Dartmouth's courses are definitely pretty intense. With the academic year based on the quarter system, students usually take three or four classes during the ten-week term. As you may guess, things get fast-paced real soon and to keep up with the level of performance expected of us, I think giving more time to work on classes or looking into more resources to help better our understanding is inevitable.

Given that, I have still been able to balance my workload and the other "fun" aspects of my life well. During the weekdays, I still am able to find time to sit down to grab a meal with a friend, go and support a capella and dance performances, or even just have a night to destress and settle in for a light-hearted movie. On weekends, I still have time to hang out with my friends and even go for day trips or outings. Generally, I find that other students are just as able to set time aside for other things besides classes. There is always something going on on-campus: from band performances by both student and professional performances, cultural events with free food(!!), to intramurals, and fun, team-bonding activities between house communities. We definitely take advantage of the small campus and with it, the opportunity for students to showcase their many talents and creativity.

With that said, how you will be able to balance your workload and time for yourself will ultimately depend on your study habits. Of course, you will need to be strict on yourself when committing to studying or working on class assignments. However, I wholeheartedly believe that it is perfectly (and easily) possible for you to squeeze in time to have fun. If you're struggling with setting good study habits, there are undergraduate advisors (UGAs) or academic study groups who can sit down with you to help you. I've also found it helpful to talk to my undergraduate dean about difficulties I had while trying to adjust to the workload. If you're worried about trying to find this balance, definitely reach out, there are a lot of resources to assist you!

One thing I have come to realize though is that in classes I'm especially excited about, I don't find the extra time or effort I put in as "work." For instance, for my BIO12 class, I'm actually excited to meet my lab partner or make little review card decks. I think that's one of the best things about college: finding classes you love and areas you are passionate about.

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