“UDHP’s Key to Success: Small Class Sizes” by Amanda Langell

“UDHP’s Key to Success: Small Class Sizes” by Amanda Langell

After a relatively domestic winter break, I am happy to return to UD and begin the new semester. Although I love hanging out with my family and binge watching new TV shows, I prefer to get back into a routine. However, with five major courses on my schedule this spring and an order of 25 textbooks, this semester seemed more daunting than others. The night before the first day of classes my eyes were locked on the clock for lifetimes, watching the minutes tick up, recycle, and then start again. Suddenly, the 1 I had been staring at morphed into a 7 and the dreaded iPhone alarm signaled my necessary departure from my sheets. Nothing is ever as bad you think it will be. Nothing is ever as bad as you think it will be.

Now, with the first week of the 2017 spring semester coming to an end, I have found myself incredibly grateful for the intimate classroom settings the Honors Program provides. Three of my classes have less than 20 students and two of those have one large table for the entire class. While it might be more relaxing to sit in a lecture hall big enough to fit a high school graduating class, a small class provides benefits that cannot begin to compete with being just another name on a roster. As opposed to professors that can hardly tell if you are in their 11am intro class, the stand-alone Honors classes have up to 75 minutes of engaged, active learning and discussion with peers and professors. Robotically taking notes from PowerPoint slides while thinking about eating lunch is not the way to get the most out of your education. Instead, intimate class sizes allow students to receive detailed responses to personal questions, brainstorm as a group, have their views challenged, and their ideas expanded upon.

Sometimes the only thing needed to make anxiety disappear is a sense of community. Anonymity is great when you are walking from the shower to your dorm, but when you are trying to figure out how to revise your creative writing piece, a group of people who have your best interest at heart is much more helpful. I know that if I am ever feeling overwhelmed this semester that my small classes will help me focus on my studies and provide one-on-one counsel if need be. It is refreshing to be with a group of students who actively care about and participate in discussions. In fact, I have a feeling this semester at UD will be my best one yet. Nothing is ever as bad as you think it will be.

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