By Monikha Reyes (Liberal Arts, Class of 2019)
The start of the semester feels amazing, right? The professors are interesting, the subjects fascinating, and your classmates’ remarks witty. But the joy wanes as the weeks go by. It’s okay to admit that you may have yearned for the end to be closer on more than one occasion.
It’s going to feel great to kick up your feet in victory at having defeated your fall classes and no longer have to rush against a deadline.
But then, just as you break out the fuzzy socks, the dreaded words are spoken by a friend, parent, guardian, or other mentor: Winter classes.
These two words drive a shiver up and down my spine. I mean, who wants to study during their long-awaited break?
But I did it. Each winter I shortened my break and chose a few classes. And, I have to admit that doing so benefited me in the long run (more on that in a minute). If I could, I would more than likely do it all again.
At BMCC, winter classes take place in January, beginning several days after New Year’s Day and lasting for just three weeks.
A normal class during a semester takes 16 weeks, so crunching all that knowledge into three makes for an intensive experience. You’ll meet more often and for longer class periods. So, I recommend only taking one class — two at most — to make sure you still have time to enjoy some rest.
Though not every class in the catalogue is offered during the winter session, BMCC does offer a wide and extensive list of classes held. This means you can register for classes that normally fill up quickly during a regular spring or fall semester.
Only a small group of students usually signs up for winter classes, so you also have the chance to study with a smaller class size and professors with more time and attention to give each student.
I always encourage students to create and maintain good relationships with their professors. Talk with them often, start an open dialogue. Get to know each other. Should you wish to continue to study after graduating, it will be that much easier to ask for a recommendation letter!
Maybe the biggest benefit of taking winter classes is that they let you control your schedule. Are you looking for a fast track? Or do you need to spread out the class load to allow for a job or other responsibilities?
With winter classes, you complete your required classes in less time. You are that much closer to graduating!
Perhaps you wish to finish your Associate’s Degree at BMCC and begin your career; maybe you want to graduate so that you can transfer to your next school of choice. By taking advantage of the winter classes BMCC offers, you may be able to graduate earlier and get going toward your goals faster.
Or, maybe slow and steady is your pace. You are anticipating taking that really hard computer science class next semester, so you choose to shift one of your other classes to the winter session so your next semester gets a little easier.
“Monikha,” you say, “You’ve got me convinced, but those 3-4 weeks seems like a lot to take on, all at once, even for just the one class.”
Don’t worry! Most of BMCC’s academic support services (like E-Tutoring, study skills coaching, and tech training) are still available to help get you through it — and with a great grade. And, because there are fewer students, there is a shorter wait!
My favorite are the E-tutoring sessions. You can meet with a group for a specific class or meet with a one-on-one tutor who will coach you through the subject and questions you are having difficulty with.
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