Semester burnout takes control of the college

Dina Marin

For the first time, Augustana is experiencing a semester schedule as opposed to a trimester schedule – a shift that has caused both positive and negative feedback from students, faculty and staff.
An advantage of the new schedule, agreed upon by both students and faculty, is that semesters provide some respite in comparison to the trimester schedule of the past.
“One thing I know I really like is having more breathing room in semesters. In that way, I really prefer semesters because it takes most of the pressure off,” professor of business administration, Melinda Mahon said. “But then it became week 10, and our internal clocks were wired for 10-week terms. Intellectually, I know there’s more breathing space and it feels right, but my clock is still set for 10-week terms and that will take a couple of terms to undo.”
However, some professors see this change as ultimately beneficial. 
“I think in the long run it will be better. I think it’s hard to adjust because we are ready to be done now,” accounting professor, Kristen Logan said. “I know for my class it is nice to have that extra time, to spend time doing problems that sometimes we didn’t really have time for before.”
Though the switch has these advantages, the change was not necessarily welcomed by all.
“It’s funny because when I came here to Augustana, there was a vote for semesters and I was very much gung-ho because I was used to semesters as a student and while teaching at UI Urbana-Champaign,” economics professor, Dr. Chris Marme said. “This time when the vote came up, I wasn’t an enthusiastic supporter and I think it’s in part because you get used to what you’ve done for a long time.”
Among students, the lack of a fall break on the semester schedule has been a topic of negative discussion. 
“Semesters, unlike trimesters, are longer and feel endless,” senior Francis Sophia Gow said. “Also, I have been feeling worn out due to our lack of breaks that could space things out.” 
“As we have finished week 10, I still think that students will be taking final exams next week,” sophomore Huy Nghiem said. “Therefore, the fact that we have five more weeks until the end of the fall semester makes me feel a bit tired. Not to mention that J-term seems to be rushing for me, which I don’t really like.”
“As a senior, I am used to the fast pace of trimesters since my first three years of college took place in that system,” Gow said. “I also feel that courses now are heavier in content, which can cause difficulties, especially if you are taking four courses each term.”