How Semesters at Loyola Work

How Semesters at Loyola Work

Now that we’re into the 3rd out of what I would say are 4 parts of the semester, I think I’ll give a breakdown of how I’ve noticed all the parts of the semesters generally trend:

1. I think the first part of every semester is, in general, a “get to know you” section where the instructors and students learn each other’s style through small individual assignments and lectures. This goes through the first quarter of the semester, usually.

2. The second quarter is a solid increase in student responsibility that comes to a head at Midterms, which is the first major concentrated effort of the semester. Up until this point the instructors are doing the lion’s share of the work to get kids up to speed in the subject.¬†Midterm projects range from the first big paper due to an actual exam and everything in between. Whatever it is, there is a sudden ramping up of effort expected from and given by students that peaks at the end of the 2nd quarter of the semester.

3. After Midterms there is a sharp fall off of effort on both sides; the instructor and students at this point have settle into a comfortable but brisk cruising speed that is a little under halfway between the start of the semester ease and the peak of midterm. This continues for a about half of the 3rd quarter until the next big project due dates become visible on the horizon (usually they are group projects this time around). However, the peak of group projects isn’t quite as high as that of midterms.

4. After the next big peak from the end of the 3rd quarter is a smaller drop off, but then comes Finals week, which is known pretty much universally as “heck week” by many. Later, when the time comes for that, I will try to post a little piece on how to deal with Final’s week stress and successfully navigate the last week and a half or so of the semester. For now, just know that as soon as you clear the 3rd quartile you’re basically always eyeing the end. And it drops faster than a ham on a bungee cord.

That’s basically it. Four different sections that each ramp up the intensity before a drop-off. First comes passive learning while the teacher gets students up to speed, then active independent work to prepare for and take midterms, then an even level of effort from both parties that comes to another head when group projects (or those of similar weight) come due, then one final breath before the charge into Final’s week.

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