I know there is pressure, either self-inflicted or from external sources, to try to rush through your degree as fast as possible. For many, that means always taking 8-week term courses. In my experience in teaching introductory statistics, I have seen students do well in the 8-week terms, but I have seen too many students struggle in them. Perhaps, as I believe, statistics is “one” of those courses where time is required for the concepts and ideas to jell and firm up.

I stumbled across an interesting article while researching cognitive load and found this: “When you have nothing to think about, you can do your best thinking. You don’t even have to be in the shower.” (Baer, 2016)

In a related article, I found Stanford researcher Emma Seppälä saying:

We need to find ways to give our brains a break…. At work, we’re intensely analyzing problems, organizing data, writing—all activities that require focus. During downtime, we immerse ourselves in our phones while standing in line at the store or lose ourselves in Netflix after hours. (Seppälä, 2017)

Taking courses in the 8-week term format, especially if you take more than one at a time, can easily be a form of information overload. Moreover, the 8-week terms do not give you much freeboard if one of life’s frequent surprises shows up.

My “two cents” is that you should build-in time for your brain to recharge after work and studies. Time to be with your family and time to be alone. Taking the 15-week version of a course now and then may help give you that time to recharge. That is not a sign of weakness or selfishness.

That is being smart.

Baer, D. (2016, June 20). ‘Unloaded’ Minds Are the Most Creative. Retrieved from Science of Us: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/06/unloaded-minds-are-the-most-creative.html
JSeppälä, E. (2017, May 8). Happiness research shows the biggest obstacle to creativity is being too busy. Retrieved from Quartz: https://qz.com/978018/happiness-research-shows-the-biggest-obstacle-to-creativity-is-being-too-busy/?utm_source=qzfb

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