Anti J-Term: just not enough time

I say N-O to the J-term.

That’s right, I’m going to go out on a limb and play the bad guy here.

I am pretty sure everyone has heard the expression, “It’s the thought that counts.” I sincerely believe that this quote is true most of the time, just not in this case. In this case, the J-term is a great idea, but poorly thought out.

I would like to state for the record that I do like the idea of the January term, or J-term as the kids are calling it these days.

My only problem with the J-term is the way it is being executed.

Under the length of the J-term, there will be limitations that will stifle the experience overall.

Of course, there are times when people have these great eye-opening experiences within a short period of time, but this is not one of those times.

This three-week-long experience is great in theory, but usually students want internships over the summer or during a semester. This way, the students get more experience and knowledge in the field along with on-the-job respect from employees, respect one cannot gain in such a short amount of time.

Second, who in their right mind wants to study abroad for less than a month?! Not a full semester, but a matter of weeks? If you think about it, there is only so much one can do in three measly weeks.

I believe that the best part of studying abroad is the connection you make with the people, the culture and the land of wherever you are staying.

The problem is that studying abroad for three weeks does not allow for that connection. Whenever you go to a new place, there is always a huge learning curve and a transition period into that culture. Studying abroad for three weeks is no exception to the rule.

Another problem with the J-term is how rushed the timeline is. The term itself feels more like a fast-track class, and everyone who has had a fast-track understands the pain it can cause to one’s psyche.

Now, there are some things that I do like about the J-term that I feel are true to the idea.

These include study trips, independent and group projects, civic engagement and community service.

Honestly, if the J-term just had these types of engagement, then I feel it would be a success.

Still, the major problem with the J-term is the study abroad and internship programs that it offers. With all of the other experiences that I listed, I feel that these two don’t belong.

Not many people like the prospect of being, in a way, rushed to complete their learning experience. If Guilford is trying to attract more people into these learning programs, then kudos to them, but they will need to cut study abroad and internships from the term. Until then, I will stick with my decision to say no to the J-term

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