OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Wednesday, October 29

#6521

QUESTION: thoughts on reduced course load?

21 comments

  1. Yes.
    I know two people who take 3 courses every term (incl. Spring) and they do exceedingly well because of it. If I could afford to reduce I would.

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  2. Engineering 1st year? Don't do it, just go hard.

    Its not going to get any easier in upper years and if you can't hack it now... well your fucked.

    If you failed a few midterms thats normal. But its also a sign that you need to work a lot harder. Don't get distracted by pussy/too many parties and you'll be fine.

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    1. It's not just a question of doing the assignments it's doing them without "cheating" by looking at the solutions.

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    2. @2a: I don't know of a single person who didn't look up solutions to ECE105 assignment problems. It gets better, just hang in there.

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  3. You should have time to take a normal course load. Treat school like a full time job. Spend 8 hours a day of real, focused work. Not work in front of the tv, or while eating, and don't count the travel time. This should be good for your average week. Then add time on top of that for studying for exams or assignments that don't fit into the 8 hours. Assuming you sleep 8 hours a day, work for 8, you still have 8 hours a day. Spend 2 cooking/eating, 3 relaxing/hobbies/exercising, and 3 for extra time where needed. This should work for most days.

    Wake up at 7,
    shower and eat by 7:45,
    on campus by 8:30 (assuming 45 minute travel time)
    lunch from 12-12:30,
    leave campus at 5 if you can,
    home at 5:45 (assuming 45 minute travel time)
    cook and eat dinner by 6:45
    chill until 7:30
    work out or socialize until 9
    2 hours extra time. studying/assignments comes first, then socialize/chill
    sleep at 11

    On slow weeks you wont need the 2 hours every day after 9 to study, you might not even need the full 8 hours on campus. Use the full 8 hours anyways to work on assignments early, or study, so that you make the following week easier, and won't have to use the extra 2 hours.

    This won't work for everyone, so move it around. Just keep 8 hours of real work, and 2 hours extra time that can be put towards work. Then if you need to, you can cut down in other areas when you really need to, like cooking, or chill time. Also learn how to learn, it will be the biggest thing you take away from university.

    Life is about time management, if you can't manage time, you can't manage life.

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    1. man your life must be boring

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    2. @3a: Agreed. This sounds crazy. And unnecessary. IDK about most people, but doing 8 hours of school is waaaay harder than 8 hours of a full-time job. That kind of schedule would be what causes students to feel stuck and dead inside.

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    3. That's the ony way for a normal person to do decently well. I am not 3 but this is what I aim for too.

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    4. please do not follow such a robotic schedule in your life

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    5. @3b. Any job you get with an advanced degree is much more taxing and demanding than 8 hours of school a day. People who don't treat university this way are wasting their time.

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    6. You 3e have never worked in an office. In no way shape or form is work harder than school. Its more time but you spend a lot of it in meetings, making powerpoints, phone calls, water fountain, etc etc. Your brain is on 100% for maybe 3 hours per day.

      As for this schedule, its not bad but there's not really any point having it this structured since life things will come up and you won't follow the schedule more often than you do.

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    7. Clearly you don't know what it's like to work a part-time job (15-25 hours/week) and be in school full time. It's called balance, you create a calendar of your assignments and midterms. See what's do when and work ahead of time keep up with readings, and study when you can. Most importantly don't stress too much.

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  4. I wouldn't reduce your course load until you start actually failing courses. The only people I know who take a reduced course load and do well are people who have jobs as well

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  5. Depends on why you need it. I've taken 2 reduced course load terms due to extreme personal stress, causing me to be unable to handle a full load. If I had tried a full load those terms, I would likely have failed them all, and instead did so well my average actually went up. I went back to a full load when the personal stress was dealt with, and did really well.

    I have also taken 2 reduced terms to have the time for serious investment in extracurriculars I had a passion for and believe in a way they benefited me and my future more than taking full course loads would have. Once again I am back to taking a full term.

    So, I think you should do full terms whenever you can, but if you are going through a difficult time in your life or wholly believe your time would be better spent doing something else (in addition to school) then I strongly encouraged a reduced course load.

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  6. Hey, if you're in first year Eng I have some advice (based on lots of experience with reduced course load).

    RCL is for people who have already been giving %110 and following all their profs' advice and don't know why they still aren't doing well. Its also for people who are having a hard time adjusting to university academics from high school and just need more time to learn how to be a university student. If this sounds like you, you should consider taking RCL. You get an extra work term and your graduation is only delayed by a year, which happens to lots of students anyways, and it doesn't impact coop or other people who look at your transcript since it is a well - established program and fairly common. The study skills course they make you take is also very useful, so I've heard.

    However, if you aren't doing well because you arent working hard enough, haven't been following profs' advice, haven't been giving your best effort, or haven't made the attempt to transition to university-style learning then DO NOT TAKE RCL. All that will happen is that you will become comfortable with a low workload and your bad study habits and once you are transitioned back to full load you will have a hard time. It's meant to be a learning experience for those who need it, if you don't need it you won't learn anything and won't improve your marks in the long run.

    tldr; read it, its good advice. Academic counsellors can also help you decide, as well as kind profs and first year TAs. I personally never did it because I realized my poor midterm marks were due to fucking around and not giving it my best effort, so I smartened up and raised my average by 20%. But "just working harder" won't work if you need to work SMARTER, not harder.

    Up to you! I hope this helps anyone in the same boat.

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  7. I did a reduced course load for a few terms (4 courses plus labs). I don't think it really helped with marks that much, they were still about the same as when I took 5-6 classes a term, however it did help free up some time so that I could have a job and get more involved on campus. My graduation has been extended a little bit, but hey, I'm having fun with it so whatever.

    If you're considering a reduced course load because you're failing, I think you'd be better off taking a leave of absence to really think about what you want from life. Maybe get some work experience, or develop your soft skills.

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  8. If you're looking at grad/professional school after your undergrad, I'd say don't do it. Unless you have a really good and valid reason (like a full time job, medical reasons, very pervasive personal problems), don't do it. Admissions don't like it.

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  9. What are you? A little bitch? Go hard or go home!

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  10. What is this course load you are talking about?

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    1. it's where engineers get to split their 1a term. that means they drop chem and one of the math courses and come back in the summer and take the two courses. then they come back a year later to do their 1b term with the next batch of engineers. their graduation would be delayed by a year.

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