How students cope with gaps during the school day by Johnathan Thompson
Questions about class scheduling at CCNY elicit three responses from the average student:
- “Yes! I love my schedule this semester.”
- “Eh, at least I don’t have class on Fridays.”
- “Oh my God!! What have I done to deserve such torture.”
For many, that “torture” comes in the form of huge breaks in your schedule which many students are confronting now that fall classes have begun. Though the causes may vary, gaps between classes generally result from a combination of unavailability of required courses and responsibilities outside of school.
Seniors often have it particularly rough, racing toward graduation. For example, you may have only have four courses left before commencement, but the seats in those classes are not guaranteed. That leads to either registering for those unwanted run off courses that do not really mesh with the rest of your schedule—or having no flexibility at all because you can’t control when the courses you need are offered. That’s what happened to pre-law student Antoun Hatem. “Both classes that I’m taking are mandatory and the only sections available just happen to be 8 hours apart,” says Hatem. “I just sit in the library and watch Netflix, kind of like my own mini-theatre.”
Given the constraints, CCNY students have figured out how to spend their time wisely. Whether that’s finishing a season on Netflix or finishing some work.. Maliha Hossain, senior and psychology major, uses her big break to stay ahead of assignments and involved in on-campus activities. “I use my six hours to prep for homework and plan events for the club I’m in,” says Hossain, who is also vice president of the South Asian Talent Club.
Hossain isn’t the only upperclassman that searches for work during the break.
Anil Sookoo, an engineering student and vice president of Iota Nu Delta, uses his break to continue his job search. “I’m looking for a job but in the meantime I’m keeping myself busy with my organization,” says Sookoo. “I do way better when I’m busy than when I’ve got tons of free time.”
Sookoo assists whenever and wherever he can. Sometimes though, routines find their way into schedule gaps. Ahsan Khan,a 21 year old physics major uses his three, three-hours breaks to eat a bit, step out for a cig and read up for his next class. He’s okay with his big break. “I don’t mind,” he says “I mean I’ve gotta take these classes so I just make it work.”
He adds: “I don’t know, I guess it’s cool that I get some downtime in between all my work y’know?”