By Bobby Liberatos’24
FGS introduced a new schedule this year, scrapping Saturday classes and including brand new blocks named Highlander Advocate and Faculty Meeting Time. The academic day runs longer as well. In the past, Tuesdays and Alternate Fridays would see later start times for classes, but daily classes now commence at 8:15 am. Classes run later, with the last block ending at 3:15 pm instead of 3:00 pm. This compensates for losing class time on Saturdays, but students will find ample free time during the academic day. Lunch has been extended, and there is no longer a quick turn-around time when faculty received complaints last year that students only had 5 minutes to eat after going through the excruciatingly long line at Solley Dining Hall. Highlander Advocate is a block that students can choose to use however they want to. Something productive and purposeful to fill this time is encouraged. Still, if the day has been difficult or busy, the thirty-minute break from Highlander Advocate can be essential for relaxation.
Personally, the new schedule is great and much more streamlined than before. Last year, I constantly checked my schedule on Highlander even well into the winter term because I was still figuring the schedule out. Added to that complication were “Alternate Fridays” and some weekends being “Classes Weekends” while others were not. It was hard to establish a regular rhythm. Every day and week are the exact same this year. I love the familiarity that comes with the new schedule. Students know what to expect, and even just half a term into the school year, my brain is on autopilot, and I know the schedule as second nature. Even more importantly, I feel that the schedule alleviates student stress. Our days are hectic enough, but the new and longer break times this year make things more manageable. Lunch is now a time when students destress instead of eating hurriedly. Highlander Advocate helps me a great deal as well. I can catch up on a class without falling further behind or having to coordinate another time to receive extra help.
The new schedule undoubtedly has provided great benefits to students, and the creators clearly had that in mind when they came up with it.