First Year Problems #6

Contact hours

When it comes to university, the amount of time you actually spend being taught something depends massively on what subject(s) you’re studying. For those doing science degrees – in particular engineering ones – you can expect to have five hours a day for four days a week. But if you’re studying a humanity, art or political science, welcome to around seven hours of contact a week.

While it’s obvious that you couldn’t really (and wouldn’t want to) be taught theories on the soul or morality or literature for five hours straight every day, you also don’t want to spend that amount of time each day reading bland textbooks and journals. Yet that’s exactly what we do. Now put this into perspective with the science students, who are also having lab time where they learn practical skills, there’s a question about value for money to be raised here.

Sometimes, when I sit at my desk with a pile of eight sizeable books and a notepad ready to copy out the key quotes, I wonder why the hell I’m getting myself into over £40,000 worth of debt when all I do each day is read. It makes literally no sense. And it makes even less sense when you attempt to take a book out of the library for some lecture reading and there aren’t any available.

So, while I love my subjects, I’m not loving how little time I actually get being taught it. Books are great – and I do love reading – but it does get tiresome when it’s all you do every single day for hours on end.

Song of the week

This song has directly nothing to do with reading or university. However, it’s what I’ve had on in the background while ploughing through some political philosophy texts this past week. Enjoy!