Big. And Small. I have had lectures of up to 400 students and then classes as small as twenty. It really depends on what you are studying. In small writing classes, they are more personal and you have one-on-one's with your professor to discuss your essays. Also, my Spanish classes have been on the smaller side with around twenty five students. Of course, you are going to have those big lectures for more broad classes, but....there is a secret. Now I wish someone would have told me this before I came here to ease my nerves. There is quiz sections for each lectures. What?? You have a quiz once or twice a week in these quiz sections? (My exact reaction as a Freshmen). No, silly. They are around twenty students from your big lecture who come together as a small class once or twice a week to discuss main points of your lecture with the TA (Teacher's Assistant). These are great for making a new friend to sit with in your big lecture where everyone pretends they don't notice the hundreds of students surrounding them. Also, a TA is a less scary person to meet in office hours for questions if you are still too antsy about approaching your super smart professor (which you shouldn't be!!). Now on to the more savory question. What is it like to be inside of one of those big or small classes? Well, it is like school. You sit and listen to the teacher eloquently tell you about the subject and take notes in the big lectures. Although, I have had teachers who are engaging and like to discuss with the students through asking for questions or opinions. In the smaller classes, we take out our books, do practice problems, worksheets, etc. I will say, it is much more independent than high school. There will be no "So what confused you about the homework last night? Any questions?" But if you do have questions, office hours are always available as well as tutoring in different subject areas on campus. People also get together with classmates or friends to form study groups. So there are no excuses for slacking or not going to class! Unless it's raining outside and you reallllyyyy don't want to get out of bed. Oh wait, that's always. So yeah, get up and get movin'!
My classes this quarter are extremely enjoyable. I love going to class everyday because I know I will learn a ton. Currently I'm taking Europe Today, Comparative Law and Courts, and States and Capitalism. Europe Today is so cool because I'm learning all about the places that I hope to travel to when I study abroad. Law and Courts has opened my eyes to the different judiciary systems of the world. This is interesting because I want to study law after I graduate, and maybe one day even become a judge. I have had so many cool guest speakers come in and talk to my classes as well. In my States and Capitalism class we had the British Ambassador to the US come speak, as well as the head foreign editor for the New York Times!!!!
My classes are currently varied. With my English major and minors in Spanish and microbiology, I find humanities courses much easier than the sciences. My English and Spanish classes are usually small, 20-30 students on a first-name basis with their teachers. Science classes are larger and often filled with intense pre-med kids. Most of my professors have been satisfactory, a few have been amazing, a couple rather dull. Overall, I find myself more looking forward to going to class than dreading it.
I am currently taking biology, organic chemistry, and a human trafficking course. They are all intellectually challenging, but it intrigues me because I'm interested in all of them. These classes aren't just classes I have to take for my major, but I also take them because they interest me. The professors teach it in a way that allows me to discuss with other students about it. The professors are also friendly and love what their job, making the learning process a more enjoyable process.
Fall is a difficult time because people are still rubbing the summer sleep from their eyes. But if you can kick yourself into shape quickly, you ccan make the transition with getting too hurt. However, it's also a time where you start to question everything you know. This being said, my classes are great. I'm taking a Poetry class and a Macroeconomics class, and I am learning things I probably would never have on my own time AND I don't have any classes on Fridays!