As college students, we frequently attend classes at obscure times of the day. One day we might be up for class at 8 a.m. The next day, our school days might not begin until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. But one class time that really throws me off is the night class, especially here at Albion College.
I have two major issues with classes in the evening: the fatigue that results from a long day of classes and the scheduling conflicts with other meetings.
I set aside all hours of my day for classes and homework. I wake up early and sometimes I am not done sitting in classrooms until 4p.m. However, I know when 4 o’clock rolls around, that I am done for the day. I no longer need to sit in a classroom and struggle to stay alert, I can just relax and hang out with my friends or go on a run until the next thing on my schedule; normally sorority or Pleiad meetings.
In my opinion, classes that start around 7 p.m. at night just don’t make sense at a small school like ours. We all have class during the day anyway, and almost every student is also involved in at least some other extracurricular activity, whether it be sports, greek life or some other campus club or organization. No matter the group, it can be a huge time commitment for a student, sometimes almost equitable to classes.
And that brings me to my next point: all of these different commitments students have lead to scheduling conflicts. As previously mentioned, most Albion students are so heavily involved in extracurriculars, that our nights are packed with various club/organization meetings or events. For example, my roommates and I each have meetings on four out of the five nights of a school week. With night classes, it is hard to get to those meetings.
I am not trying to say these meetings are more important than college classes. Obviously our education comes first. However, in order to be a well-rounded college student, it is important to participate outside of the classroom. If we have class at night when we would normally be participating in our extracurriculars, we are not getting the well-rounded experience every college student deserves.
I think the college should omit night classes, and stick to the traditional “during the day” class schedule. This would let college students devote their full attention to both classes and extracurricular activities.
Photo by Tess Haadsma.
You know what would have made this article better? An interview with the provost office to gain a better understanding of the block scheduling and why a professor may offer an evening class.
Last spring I taught 2 evening courses. One met 7-10 pm MW. The other met 10 pm-midnight MW. Both courses were taught at those times to maximize the number of students who could take those courses and thus benefit from that educational experience. The time was not ideal, but teaching in the evening allowed the students who needed and wanted to take those courses that opportunity.
Albion is not about day courses vs. evening courses. It is about providing opportunities for students. Not every opportunity in life comes at a time of our choosing. Edison said “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Evening classes, just like 8 am classes, may force a student to rethink their schedules and priorities. However, such an opportunity may help a student succeed in the future in ways that are hard to imagine now.