Higher education gives you the chance to choose what you want to learn. You can choose your own class and you can make your own schedule. Sounds good, right? Not really since although you are given the freedom to choose, there's the weird pressure of choosing what's already decided for you.
For example when I was back in college, the education system gives us freedom to choose our own classes. But when you consider the basic factor of having enough credits to graduate, you can't really choose what you want to learn. As in, even if I wanted to take a class out of pure interest, when I see or hear about the grading system being strict, I'll think twice. At the end of the day, I chose classes that are easier to get good results and easier to gain the credits.
So I thought one day when I enter the university, I could choose any classes I want, out of pure interest eventhough the grading system is strict or it's harder to pass the class; I was determined to pick classes based on my interest and not by the possibility of getting a good result. Until I entered the university and found out the ugly truth; NOTHING change.
Since I transferred from college to the 3rd year at the university, that left me only 2 years to gather credits and to finish what normal students would do in 4 years. Sounds stressful? That wasn't even half of it. Because the department I entered isn't based on JABEE (The thing you need so that your degree certificate can be recognized all over the world instead of just Japan), I have to take a special course for JABEE student. My department here is divided into three courses; the architecture course, the mechanical course and the JABEE course. I had no choice but to take the JABEE coz my degree would be useless when I go back to Malaysia. And you know what is the most fun part about the JABEE course? The course included both the architecture and the mechanical course. So I have to take classes twice the amount of the students in my department and I have to do it in half the time. Oh, what fun!
So here I am, far far away from what I expected when I was in college. But there's a silver lining; the exams in university (this university anyway) is easier than the one I used to have in college; way much easier. So if I studied like I used to in college, theoretically, I could get through the exams here in this university. Of course, I would study harder since this is my first exam here and added by the past traumatic experience, I'm a much sober person.
But since this is my first semester, I would have to do an experiment first. This experiment is by taking classes that are easy to pass although I don't like them much and take lots of it so that I could gather lots of credits. That's my objective for this first semester. And based on the result of this semester's final exam, I'll decide what to do about the next semester.
I'm currently thinking of combining both; taking both the classes that are easier to pass and the classes I like. It would take so much more of my time and energy but hey, isn't that what I'm here for? To learn as much as possible? Btw, this particular way of thinking is rooted from Education and Human Mind class; the one class in this semester that I'm taking out of pure interest. I'm learning so much!
Anway, that's what I've learnt from my 4 months here in Shimane University and the course of action for my not so distant future. To those who are studying for finals, best of luck. I'll be studying for my finals too so wish me luck!!! =)