The beginning of each new term is a fresh start, and new
classes have immense potential. Even if I’m not initially interested in a
particular class, I might find out by the end of the term that I want to pursue
that particular subject even further. At the same time, classes I’d thought
would be interesting can be disappointing. The anticipation is often hard to
deal with, especially in the week leading up to the beginning of the new term.
I wait on pins and needles for my textbooks, and then I wait some more until
the syllabus shows up on Blackboard. And then finally the new term is in
session, and I start down the 16-week long path toward finishing my newest
batch of classes.
My hopeful, optimistic attitude toward my new classes usually
lasts for the first five weeks of the term. I like to call this period of time
the “Honeymoon Phase.” During the Honeymoon Phase, my assignment completion
behaviors are radically different from the rest of the term. I work ahead in my
classes, tirelessly completing assignment after assignment, and imbibing
homework with my own personal touch and an extra amount of effort. I call this
period of time the Honeymoon Phase mostly because of the fact that nothing can
destroy my optimism, not even a heavy assignment load or a teacher that lacks
communication skills. I dismiss any problems with the teacher as unintentional
miscommunication, and I welcome the idea of challenging, time-consuming
assignments. But at five weeks, everything changes.
At week five, homework becomes less fun, and more work. I
start spending extra amounts of time on things like brushing my teeth and
making breakfast to avoid the inevitable fact that I will
have to do my homework at some
point. And when I do start on my assignments, my focus is on getting things
done rather than making them the best I can. However, five weeks into my
classes, the positive attitude that I had at the beginning of the term lingers
in my consciousness. Between five and nine weeks, things aren’t so
bad. I procrastinate, but not a lot,
and despite the fact that I don’t really want
to do my homework, I still find the class material relatively interesting. At
this time, I wonder if I’ll be able to keep up a positive outlook on my classes
until the end of the term, and end the term without any negative feelings
I haven’t had this experience yet.
By the middle of term, sometime around week nine, I’ve had enough.
I wake up in the morning, and instead of looking forward to sitting down at my
computer to do my homework, all I feel is dread. I still work to make sure my
homework fulfills the criteria, but all in all, I’m really working to just “get
it done.” Sometimes I have some fun doing certain assignments, and wish I could
spend more time on them, but this doesn’t happen very often. I have to really like
the class and the homework,
or honestly, I just don’t care
want the term to be over
with. By the
middle of the term, I’ve usually started counting down the days until the end
of the term.
After the mid-point of the term passes, my perspective on the
term doesn’t change much. I continue feeling dread toward doing my homework, I
try to get things done as fast as possible without skipping over any important
criteria, and I check my calendar daily to see how many days are left until the
end of the term. And though I know at the beginning of the term that I will
reach a point when I’m not
interested in my classes anymore, I still start off being excited. I really
enjoy the first five weeks of my classes, and have a lot of fun with my
assignments. After five weeks though, I feel disenchanted, and usually would
much rather explore the subject material without homework hanging over my head.
Or I just feel disenchanted because I’m not interested in the class material,
and never was.
Ultimately though, I look back on all the classes I’ve
taken, and I’m glad that I took them, even if they were difficult to get
through. After I get some distance from that term’s classes, I realize that I
learned a lot more that I thought that I did, and that actually, I had fun. Instead
of being annoyed by the heavy assignment load in one class, or the teacher that
was hard to deal with, I feel proud of myself for finishing the class. I know
that taking difficult classes that have frustrating “I-don’t-think-I-can-do-this”
moments isn’t exactly a traditional definition of fun, but they are
interesting, and definitely keep my attention occupied. So even when I become
uninterested, and I don’t wanna do my homework anymore, I try to remember that
at some point I’ll look back and be amazed at what I learned. So when the going
gets rough, I’ve just got to keep going, because it will
pay off in the end.
Webzine Team Member