Life can often seem hectic here at NUHS. Coming from undergrad, where credits cap out at 18, the full-track first trimester load of 24-ish credits can seem daunting. The work-per-credit is also a drastic increase from those blissful undergrad years, a fact that only adds to weight of the credit load. The work-per-day also stands in stark contrast to many people’s undergrad experience — characterized by free time, intermittently punctuated by class. Here, it’s the exact opposite. It’s no surprise that the questions I get asked the most deal with whether going it “full track” is worth it.
In Limbo = doing two things poorly
I finished my first trimester full track and it wasn’t horrible. However, I quickly succumbed to a common fallacy. I began to convince myself that if I went “flex track,” I would have more time to absorb the nuances of the material, which would yield better conceptual understanding and retention.
In my self-delusion, I forgot an important caveat to my argument — people rarely study more than their set-point, even if they have more free time. Free time instead becomes just that — free time — time that gets filled with the latest TV show or aimlessly wandering the apartment. The point is free time almost never results in more work. In my experience, it actually led to less studying. It wasn’t until I picked up full track again, in second phase, that my study time reached a new high, which my GPA reflected with a corresponding up-tick.
Perhaps Newton was onto something when he stated “a body in motion stays in motion.” It seems the busier you are, the more work you accomplish. This appears to be an excruciatingly commonsensical phrase making it all the more necessary to posit, as common sense thought often eludes serious consideration.
When there’s an ample amount of free time, it’s almost as if you’re hung in limbo between two worlds, and consequently can’t participate fully in either. As much as I despise scheduling things, I believe the best approach to life at NUHS involves letting the demands devour you and scheduling the brief respites from studying so, either way, you can be fully involved in both worlds.