What I Wish I Had Known to Expect From the Quarter System

Now don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t change my choice of universities for a second. But there are some things I’ve gotten used to after four years of the quarter system here at Davis that I wish I had known to expect as an incoming freshman. And don’t worry, not all of it is bad!

1. Speed

This is the part of the quarter system that current UC Davis students will complain about the most. With only 10 weeks to get through an entire curriculum’s worth of material, things move very quickly and can sometimes feel like an out-of-control rollercoaster ride. Some people love it because they can get their classes over with faster, especially if they don’t like them. But for others it can feel too fast, especially if they absorb information at a slower rate, and can lead to more work outside the classroom to make sure that they really learn the material.

2. Outside reading

If your major contains higher levels of outside reading, be prepared! You will have to do a lot of reading in between each class session, because there aren’t very many of them. Usually it’s not difficult, just very time-consuming.

3. Late starts

We don’t usually start in the fall until the end of September, which means you can get 3-4 additional weeks of fall while your friends on the semester system are already back in school. So unless you live in a place where the fall weather happens to be terrible, this is a pretty big bonus. On the reverse, however, those same “semester kids” start their summers mid-May while those of us on the quarter system are sweltering in classrooms well into June.

4. Spring break

Luckily for those of us on the quarter system, we don’t have to worry about reading and homework to be completed over spring break. Schools on the semester system have their spring break right in the middle of the semester, so sometimes students can have homework and projects that they need to work on over break. Instead, we finish the winter quarter, take our finals, and then start a whole new quarter after break.

Thumbnail source: Pixabay

*None of the images used belong to the author or Her Campus UC Davis.