How to Survive Winterim
I hope everyone (if you’re in Stevens Point) has been surviving this last couple of weeks. It has been crazy here with all this snow; I know I have had to shovel almost everyday if not multiple times a day. I have been trying to avoid looking up the weather in Spain but I just can’t help it, I would give just about anything to go back even for just a short amount of time. But right now I’m in Stevens Point and not only just surviving the winter and snow, I have had something else to make it through: winterim.
This year I decided to take a winterim class for the first time because I decided it was time to get Communication 101 out of the way. I had continuously put that class on the back burner and it’s required for all UW-Stevens Point students to take before graduation. I was afraid I would put it on hold for so long that I would take it and be the oldest student in my class and then fail it and not be able to graduate. Clearly this class needed to be taken care of and moved off my plate before I went crazy thinking about it. I wasn’t sure how a winterim class would go since I had never done one before, but after making in through I think I have figured out some general tips for everyone to use when trying to survive a winterim class.
First, realize the benefits of taking a winterim class and think about if it is right for you. I know a lot of people never even consider taking a winterim class but it can actually be very helpful I think to many people. If you need a course that you haven’t been able to take, for whatever reason, this may be a time to quickly get it out of the way. Each winterim class is different but most are about two weeks long. They could be several hours long each day but you could earn around 3 credits in two weeks which is pretty nice. It could also be a chance for you to explore a new area of study. You may not want to try a new class during the semester when you have so much going on, so this can be a nice time to try something new without added stress. Also the winterim is an excuse to come back to Stevens Point early after being home for probably two weeks, and who doesn’t want to be back in Stevens Point as soon as possible?! : )
Once you decided to take a winterim course, you then need to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. Before you have your first day of class remember to get your textbook and any other class materials. You will probably jump into lecture and work right away the first day so you want to be prepared. Realize that you will have class for a couple hours a day, depending on the course you take. You will most likely have breaks but just keep in mind you might be sitting for a while. I made sure I had coffee, water, and maybe even a small snack for break. Also remember to dress appropriately; it was very cold and snowy during this winterim so everyone had to bundle up, but then as the day went on it got warm in the room so I made sure to where layers. I know some of the classrooms are cooler during the winter so you may want to prepare for that as well.
After class most days you will probably have some sort of homework. It may seem like this course is a lot of work but remember this is the only class you’ll have to think about for two weeks, so don’t stress. I liked to come home and relax for a bit and then later start on my homework or studying. I thought I had plenty of time to do my work but don’t be overworked. Just remember that you might not be graded on as many things since it’s a shorter class, so give it your all on assignments that are graded. With this in mind, I feel that many professors realize you may not have a lot of time for a big project so they are easier on the grading.
Most importantly, have fun with your class; I know school can be a drag but enjoy the winterim. It’s sort of still like winter break and you probably don’t have too much to worry about. Take this as a chance to meet new friends and learn something new. I was happy to make some new friends in my class and I was relieved to have this class off my plate. After it’s all over celebrate because the spring semester is right around the corner. I was fortunate enough to go on a weekend get away to the Dells with my friends which was a perfect ending to my winter break and winterim course. Always remember to enjoy yourself whenever possible, don’t let winter bring you down!
Well folks, there you have it. I hope that at least one person will take these tips to heart and perhaps consider taking a winterim course next year. I wish everyone a good first week of classes!
Alexia Szabo is a junior majoring in economics, Spanish and international studies at UW-Stevens Point.