From Midterms to Thanksgiving
Time passes at lightening speed when you are going through midterms. During a stretch of two weeks, you feel as though your life revolves around these exams that were never designed to give you a hard time, but simply to identify your level of progress. The second-years all tell us first-years that we are taking school too seriously. “Grades do not matter here,” they tell us with an air of maturity, and we agree with the nodding of our heads. However, as soon as they have their backs turned to us, we embark on sleepless nights of essay writing, information cramming, and other such scholarly activities. The midterms were rocky, and perhaps we took it all too seriously, but alas it is over for the time being.
Come second year, I am certain that we will be more relaxed and less intense about our class performance. What has captured my attention is the unbudging sense of purpose and thirst with which all students appear to approach their classes. Even in a system where grades do not matter (we have a fail, pass, high pass and honors system), every student tries his or her very best to excel in class. Our environment is neither competitive nor complacent. We love symbiotic learning and collaboration. The majority of the courses are structured to foster group work. In two of my classes I am part of a group project that allows us to develop practical skills, which calls for substantial interactions with the outside world. They are basically tiny internships that span two months.
Aside from surviving school, I have participated in a career workshop at Princeton University and at the Big 4 Panel (comprising of the University of Michigan, UC Santa Barbara, Duke University and FES) in DC. I highly recommend that you come to our open houses to learn more about FES! This is a photo of Angela, our admissions director, emphatically telling a student the details of applying to FES.
I would like to end this blog by directing you all to the following website http://sagemagazine.org/. Sage magazine is a non-profit student-run magazine that will give you a glimpse of the issues that FES-ers cradle in our minds while not focusing on classes.