Sunday, September 1, 2019 | Written by Karsten

Normally, when at school, I try to think about actually doing school as little as possible. While this isn’t always the smartest idea, I’d much rather hang out than do schoolwork, and therefore I can only really do schoolwork when I’m alone. Now that I’m here in France, I have even more distractions. It seems like all anybody can think about is where they’re going to travel next, and I’m the same way. Luckily, as with any typical semester, the first couple weeks—or first full week, in this case—are usually pretty slow, with the occasional homework assignment needing to be completed. Because of this, I’ve been able to make new friends, take lots of pictures (and stay on top of editing them), get the recommended eight hours of sleep, and yes, travel in both of my first two weekends (I’m currently writing this in Belgium).

The classes I’m taking this semester are Thermodynamics, Probability and Statistics, Instrum and Electronics Lab, French 1, and Science, Technology, and the Modern World. The most worrying ones are the three that are mandatory to graduate as a mechanical engineer: Thermodynamics, Probability and Statistics, and Instrum and Electronics Lab. These classes, though fair according to past students, will be very difficult to get an A in if I don’t take them seriously and make time to review the material. Thermodynamics is a flipped classroom, so in class we’re solving problems and outside of class we’re watching lectures. There are eighteen evaluations to be completed throughout the semester, and if they all get completed successfully, we get an A. Probability and Statistics is heavily based on the midterms and the final, but if I’m able to stay on top of the homework and not miss any classes, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Instrum and Electronics Lab is based around lab quizzes and lab reports, so if Jake and I are able to get the labs done in class, we should be set. French 1 will be the most useful class I take while I’m in France, because, well, I don’t know any French yet. Maybe by the end of the semester, I’ll actually understand what’s going on around me. Lastly, as long as I stay up to date on my readings in Science, Technology, and the Modern World, the class should be manageable.

The method of attack that I think is best for managing my time is to get as much work as I can done during the first three nights of the week, and then doing my reading, writing, and eventually studying while I’m on the train. So far, that’s what I’ve done, and it seems to be like the best idea. Hopefully, by managing school this way, I’ll be able to keep my stress levels low and stay ahead on my work (although I already feel a little behind—hopefully I can work to feel caught up this week).