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Top 10 reasons to drop your J-term course

The J in ‘J-term’ stands for joke

<p>Ben Rosenthal is a Top 10 Writer for The Cavalier Daily.</p>

Ben Rosenthal is a Top 10 Writer for The Cavalier Daily.

1. It’s still the holiday season

We typically don’t have class on major holidays. For example, we don’t attend any classes on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Day. Why should that same respect not apply to National Bean Day Jan. 6, National Houseplant Appreciation Day Jan. 10 and National Pharmacist Day Jan. 12? Do you really want to be sitting in class when you could put on a bean parade? Can you really handle that level of FOMO?

2. Almost all J-term courses are five hours per day

These courses are not only five hours, but they take up the five most important hours of the day. Most of the courses begin at 10 a.m. — coincidentally that is also the ideal time for breakfast. Most J-term classes proceed to interrupt 11 a.m. brunch, 12 p.m. lunch, 1 p.m. afternoon snack, 2 p.m. pre-mid-afternoon snack and 3 p.m. post-pre-mid-afternoon snack. Thankfully, the carnage stops after that, but having all of these critical daily events interrupted by a monotonous lecture seems a bit rude, doesn’t it?

3. Break is a time to focus on hobbies

I know what you’re saying — “but we’ve already had a month of break! Wasn’t that enough time to enjoy your hobbies?” Well, the short answer is no. I needed the month of December to select my hobby. I briefly selected learning the piano, but one Christmas gift later and I have pivoted to experimenting with different foods to cook in my waffle maker. December is for selection and preparation — January is for execution. If I spend five hours a day in class, imagine how many fewer foods I’d be able to stuff in my waffle maker. It hurts to even entertain that possibility.

4. Don’t be tricked by the price tag or lack thereof

Just because something is free doesn’t mean you need it — this is what almost tricked me. As a Batten major who had already taken his three “free choice” major requirements, there was no J-term course I could take that would actually give me useful credits. “But,” I thought, “It’s free, and it’s something to do. Who cares?” Then I had a realization — it doesn’t matter how much money it costs if it’s entirely useless to me. If you can finish up a major requirement, knock yourself out. But don’t fall for the price tag fallacy!

5. I already tanked my GPA enough in fall semester

I was an unproductive and unmotivated human slug of a student while taking five classes remotely in Charlottesville — in my typical school location, no less. But I admit that I did entertain the idea of taking a J-term. However, just imagining how pathetic I would look taking a daily five-hour class from my bedroom in the dark and cold of this D.C. winter was enough to shut that idea down. 

6. I need to use the time to apply for internships

This is the main lie I am telling myself as an excuse for what is probably just laziness. But if you’re skipping the J-term season like me, this is almost certainly the best alternative use of your free time. Ladies and gentlemen, this constitutes the only genuine advice I am going to offer in this entire article. Take it or leave it.

7. Breakout rooms

The bottom half of almost every J-term syllabus I have laid eyes on enthusiastically details how the second half of class will be dedicated to participation and group discussion. Umm, I don’t know if I would call anything I saw in awkwardly quiet breakout rooms “discussion.” Nothing comes to mind. No particular instances qualify. Two hours of a five-hour class should not involve staring awkwardly at another tired third year eating a sandwich in their basement. Sorry.

8. Dracula filled up

I would take back every rant I made about J-terms in the above seven bullets just to take Dracula. I got in last summer during one of the sessions, but couldn’t justify spending $1,500 to take an elective. Now that it’s free, I could have finally fulfilled my dream — the only course worth sacrificing sleep, food and my GPA for. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I’ll see you in Spring 2022, my vampire overlord. 

9. Annoy your friends with your freedom

As someone whose primary purpose in life is to annoy my friends in group chats, I am really excited to be the only one in my friend group not taking a J-term. I am looking forward to sending a peppy “Good morning!” at 11:32 a.m., knowing very well they’ve been up for at least 1.5 hours already. As an added bonus, I can take bets on how long it takes for my friends to block me on all social media platforms and remove me from their lives.

10. Because a Cavalier Daily Top 10 writer said so

I wouldn’t steer you wrong. I really wouldn’t. I take my position as a writer incredibly seriously. As a result, I would never encourage you to drop a class after you have already ordered your books, attended the first day or two and committed yourself to learning new things — unless I really meant it. Which I do. Come join me in the land of freedom. There’s plenty of room.

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