Alissa Ahrens, Writer
At WGSS, our school system runs on a mixture of semester and linear classes. Some students have one timetable for half of the year and another one for the rest, while others have alternating classes that run the whole year. I have a bit of both, meaning I get to start fresh with some new classes just as I’m reaching the midterm in others. However, one question is yet to be answered: which system is better? Are semesters superior or does linear take the lead? There are positives and negatives for both sides; nevertheless, after talking to some of my classmates I think I’ve reached the answer.
Whether semester classes or linear depends on the student. Semesters are the compacted version of a course, while linear is a more expanded type. This could mean different things for different learners. Perhaps linear is better for you if having a class every day gets too boring and repetitive to focus. Or maybe semesters are better because having all your classes going at once is too chaotic. The greatest advantage of linear is you won’t have long gaps between classes. For example, if you have a math class first semester, but a second semester the next year, that’s a year and a half without doing math. A year and a half without math is probably bliss for most people but when you start the class again next year it’s going to be hard to get back into it. Having a class every other day is also relieving for people with busy after-school schedules. I have late nights where there’s just no time for homework when I get home. With linear, there’s an extra day to complete assignments before having to hand them in the next class. Linear classes have a definite advantage over semesters when it comes to the expanded timeline; the spacing could be a big asset to students’ work ethics and make their high school career a bit easier.
Semester classes do not give you the breezy all-year path through classes, but they kind of have a “rip off the Band-Aid” effect. If you have a difficult or aggravating class sometimes getting it over with altogether is better than the long haul for a whole year. Yes, five months is not quite getting it over with quickly but there are breaks and long weekends in between to make things a bit better for everyone. All students just had Semester Break and I think we can all agree it was much needed and much deserved. Without semesters that break wouldn’t have existed and we’d have been trudging through classes instead of relaxing and laughing at elementary school kids who still had to go to school. Having a class every day is amazing if you enjoy it and if you don’t that means you only have half a year of sufferings with the promise of a semester break on the horizon.
The battle between semester and linear comes down to the way the student learns. Linear is the more sensible option because of the spaced-out timeline and continuity of classes but I think I learn better with semesters because of the compactness. Therefore, semesters are better than linear and WGSS has got its class system mostly figured out.