Spring quarter course registration can be as anxiety-ridden or as exciting as you want it to be. Bottom line: you’re registering for your LAST quarter as a MAPHer. Yes, it’s sad. But think of all the blood, sweat, and tears that have already gone into this year and be slightly grateful that you’re coming to the home stretch.
But, with all that in mind, what should really be at the forefront of your thoughts is that this is (for most of you) the last time you will get to choose classes to take at the University of Chicago. Therefore, it is more important than ever that you choose wisely and be an active advocate for the remainder of your master’s education. A few tips to keep in mind to make sure that happens:
1. Do NOT take the easy way out this quarter. If you’re thinking that it will be nice to use your last MAPH quarter as a well-deserved break by sitting back on your haunches, then you’re not getting the most out of this year. Instead, think about this last quarter as a chance to push yourself a bit. Take a Ph.D. seminar. Take a class with that crazy hard professor everyone’s always warning you about. Trust us – you’ll be handing in your thesis at the start of 9th week spring quarter. That means you’ll have two FULL weeks to just enjoy the classes you’re taking. You’ll kick yourself if they’re boring.
(More mentor-ly words of wisdom…after the jump)
2. Get OUT of your comfort zone. Take a class in a department or field other than your area of speciality or research. Maybe you’re an early modernist who has been ogling the Anthropology courses all year. Or an Art Historian who’s been secretly wanting to read more philosophy after core. This is your chance to do it! And, you never know. You might find a really exciting new perspective on your thesis topic. Or just read some really interesting things. Either way, you’ll feel good about challenging yourself and you can walk away from this year knowing you took advantage of the short time you were here.
3. SHOP. Have we mentioned this before? Yes, I seem to remember very clearly pushing you all to shop every time course registration comes around! This is especially important for the spring. Please don’t let yourself get stuck in a class where the professor or the course content isn’t going to hold your interest. Again, because you’ll be done with your thesis in time to actually just hang out and enjoy being a graduate student the last few weeks of spring, it’s so important that you really enjoy the classes you’re taking.
4. TALK to your mentors. Yes, we’re still here! And no matter what sort of anxiety or excitement you are feeling, we probably went through it and can help you sort things out.
Other than that, hooray for making it to your last quarter!