Three-Course Terms Reign Supreme Over Two-Course Terms

Nathan Ko '23, Contributor

Since we started learning with the new course schedule, most people have demonstrated their preference for two-course terms over the three-course terms. And their reasons are not unfounded: two-course terms usually have less work and offer more free time. In addition, they have fewer due dates, assignments, and mandatory Zoom classes. All of these conditions seem to firmly place the two-course term as the superior term, but is this true?

On the basis of work and time, two-course terms may seem far superior; however, once we add more factors to the table, three-course terms start to make an appealing case. For example, when a deadline for an assignment is coming up, we usually stop dwelling on our feelings on an assignment and rather tackle it head-on. Though this may be a blunt generalization, it is common for busyness to incite a whole range of positive benefits: it can improve productivity and mental acuteness, inspire more energy and positivity, and even dispel gloomy thoughts.

It is hard for a student to ignore the workload given by the rigorous three-course term; therefore, most students are forced to obtain an internal locus of control—a psychological concept that represents the degree one feels that one has control over outcome of events, such as passing a test or not.

The three-course term also makes it necessary for a student to carefully plan their days to succeed, inciting one to utilize a planner and stay organized. All of these aspects profoundly correlate with productivity, an idea that all students should desire.

Interestingly enough, productivity ushers in a whole new range of other benefits. When students are productive, they spend less time considering and thinking about projects, and rather boldly take it on. Students also become more mentally acute, as they are aware of the task at hand, and are also engaging with more tasks.

In contrast, due to more free time, the two-course term allows students to dwindle their productivity and mental acuteness through short-term satisfying activities, such as social media or random YouTube videos. This happens because students that choose to waste much of their day on meaningless habits and rarely face the consequences due to the low workload.

The three-course term is a demanding mentor, and though it may seem paradoxical, the persistent workload allows students to experience a wide range of benefits that only a demanding three-course term could provide.