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Fast Track Classes: Recipe for Success or Disaster?

· Sophomore Year
  1. Take one 16 week class
  2. Condense it down into 4 or 6 weeks
  3. Mix in homework every single night
  4. Fold in being an online class
  5. Sprinkle in some high anxiety
  6. Fry the student’s brain until they can’t remember their own name.

Ta da! Serves one.

Okay, I might be a little dramatic however little did I know that when I started my educational journey in the summer, I had inadvertently signed up for not one, not two, but three fast track classes totaling a length of six weeks. And one of them was a dreaded math class!

For those of you who don't know what those are, don't feel bad. I didn't either. The classes are condensed into a shorter period of time.

I survived, just like every other person who takes one does but man are they tough. You really do have homework each and every night, tests every week, and in some cases papers or essays due every week as well. There is room for error, being sick, or having a social life. It truly is the grind.

To add insult to injury, and because I just don't seem to learn from my mistakes, or perhaps I am just a glutton for punishment, I took another fast track class the following summer. A four week one. Four weeks! This course was online, which are always more difficult, that required a chapter and power point (or in my case a Prezi) due nearly single night. This class was an exercise in determination, discipline, and speed reading.

It made me sad, but probably not in the way you are thinking.

The class was so interesting that I felt I had cheated myself by opting to take it in such a speedy format. I am sure I would have enjoyed it (and absorbed more) had I taken it over a 16 week period. But these are the lessons to be learned.

Some of my fellow students actually like fast track classes. Perhaps they have a better capacity for cramming all that in. Maybe since they are younger they don’t have as much useless movie trivia and 80’s songs lyrics floating around in their brains.

Who knows! What I do know is that from now on I will be cautious as to what type, and length of class I take. After all, what good is it if I can't retain the material!

Update: I opted for two fast track classes this coming fall semester. I take pleasure in pain apparently.

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