This week on the blog, I wanted to get back to our roots. So let’s talk something a little more ‘conventional’ for Manhattan Skye.. school. This year, I got the opportunity to take Master’s classes at Drexel University while still completing my undergrad at Elizabethtown College. The advantage? Completing a Master’s program in T-minus 1 year post grad rather than 2. So it’s basically a no-brainer, right? Of course I was going to do it.
But this post is maybe not all cupcakes and rainbows. I’m here to give y’all the real 411 about my experience with these classes thus far.
1. Flipped classrooms suck.
I just want to get this one out of the way first.
For those of you that might not be familiar with flipped classroom learning, it is essentially set up that you watch a pre-recorded lecture before you get to class and then participate more in discussion in class. In theory, this should work right? Mega wrong.
I knew I didn’t like flipped classrooms from the moment I stepped into my high school calculus class and found out they were ‘trying something new’ this semester. How in the world is a student expected to watch up to 2 hours of lecture material (not including the time it takes to stop the videos and try to keep up with notes) AND still do various homework assignments? Not to mention that okay, maybe this works in theory for one class, but when you’re doing this with up to FOUR classes, the amount of time taken out of your week just to get your work done before class is actually crazy.
I’ve never been one to really complain about needing more time but when a girl who normally goes to bed at 9pm (I know, I’m a grandma) is now staying up well past midnight on the daily you know there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done reasonably.
2. It’s creepy to be watched by your webcam..
So I mentioned that although we are still having actual class, the majority of our assignments are completed online.. including quizzes.
Drexel has us take our quizzes with an app called Lockdown Browser. It essentially closes everything making it impossible to open up other tabs and cheat. Do I think this is necessary? Yeah, pretty much. Do I think it’s kind of wild when my webcam light turns green and I’m all of a sudden being recorded? 100%.
Like listen, I’m all about CBS’ Big Brother but I can’t deny my palms start to sweat a little every time.
3. The stress is REAL.
Like I mentioned before, the amount of work that needs to be devoted out of class alone is kind of intense. Not to mention keeping up with undergrad classes, research, two jobs, and an extracurricular as well. It’s uhm.. a lot to say the least. I mean heck, I literally FORGOT to hand in an assignment just the other week.. like that’s NOT me.
Truth is, I’ve been putting such an emphasis on these Master’s classes that I’ve let everything else fall to the wayside. I worry 24/7 about what grade I’m going to get on my weekly quizzes or how I’m going to muster up the courage to talk in our discussion just to get reality checked with all the work that’s been piling up right under my nose.
College is stressful, I always knew this. But I’ll never take for granted again the past three years when I thought it couldn’t ever get any harder.
4. Night classes are a blessing and a curse.
Being a bio major, I’ve spent the past three years getting up at 7am just to make it to my 8am comfortably. I know a lot of people might think that’s torture, but that’s just how it was and honestly, I really liked it. I’m more of a morning person and it was great to get classes over with early.
These Master’s classes on the other hand all start at 5:30pm. Not necessarily too bad, but when you’re sitting in lecture for two hours after a full day, it can be a little difficult to pay attention.. and sometimes even keep your eyes open.
That being said, it’s great for students who have other obligations during the day. It givens them the opportunity to still work and have class if that’s what they choose to do. It also gives late study-ers the chance to cram all day.. would NOT recommend, but it HAS spared me an all-nighter already. Bless.
5. I think I’ve had like 50 life crises already and it’s only week 8..
Or, I could look at it on the bright side and say, I’m halfway through the semester already. Thank. God.
All of the stress and running around has me questioning things a lot. Is this really worth it? And if it is, what is it at the cost of? Because right now, I’m coming up with my happiness and sanity are definitely at stake.
Knowing what I know now, I’m not sure if I would opt for this program again if I could go back in time. This isn’t exactly the way I pictured my senior year going, but nonetheless it definitely puts me at a little bit of an advantage.
Luckily for me, I’ll have one year of the Molecular Medicine program completed by graduation and that’s just one step closer to never having to take an exam ever again (hopefully). Also luckily for me, I don’t need to worry about things like writing a thesis. So maybe it is worth it after all.
Ugh, you see what I mean? I’m like hot and cold, black and white, and night and day ALL THE TIME. It’s so confusing. But I’ll keep y’all posted anyways (:
These are just some of the top 5 things that come to mind when I think of my experience with the program thus far. I’m happy to talk about it more if any of you have questions or want advice on how to get through tough semesters at school, I’ve definitely had my fair share of them. Organization and time management is key. No excuses, just hard work always.
How has your semester been going? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! And..
Until next time,