The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Students need more time between classes

3 min read

by MADELINE ICE

Staff Writer

There is not enough time between classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for students to make it to their next class on time. The distance between buildings on campus can be up to a half-mile, therefore students should be given a minimum of 30 minutes between classes. The option for students to create a schedule where they have ample time between classes does not exist when so many courses offer only one section.

According to Openfit.com, it takes the average 20-year-old 20 minutes to walk one mile at a moderate pace. The UMW campus is about a mile long, and the distance between the farthest apart academic buildings, Jepson and Combs, is 0.6 miles. 

As a sophomore, this is my first semester on campus, and I am just beginning to find my way around. I have three classes back to back on MWF, and I barely make it before my teachers shut the door. I go from Combs Hall to the Jepson Science Center, and then back to Combs before returning to my room in Eagle Landing. The total distance I walked on my first day was over five miles. 

I like to believe that I am fairly athletic; I am on the swim team here at UMW, and I ran cross country for four years in high school. However, it is nearly impossible for me to make it over a half mile distance in the allotted time, especially when my teachers run class even a minute long. 

Sophomore studio art major Sarah Yowell said she “definitely gets a workout from running across campus. It’s stressful, especially if the professor ends class late.”

Some students have given up entirely on making it to class on time. 

“The commute from the Jepson [Science] Center to Combs [Hall] is so stressful,” said sophomore education major Abby Reilly. “Ten minutes is just not enough.Whether your teacher lets you out late, or the specific door you need to the building is closed, every minute matters. While I know I have every right to stand up and leave when the class time ends, it feels rude to stand up while my professor is speaking and walk out the door.” 

Going into this semester, I knew that making it to classes would be a challenge, so I planned on riding my bike. On the very first day, I attempted to ride my bike, but between dodging pedestrians and wrestling with my bike lock, it took almost as long as walking. 

During that first day and in the days that followed, I found myself thinking only about how I was going to get to my next class on time. I barely remember what was covered in those first few classes because I was so stressed about my commute and being marked late for my next class.

In addition to the sore legs I earned from speed walking across campus, I also became severely dehydrated and hungry. My haste to make it to class left me without time to eat, drink, or go to the bathroom between classes. Additionally, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to eat or drink in class. For three hours, I was simply racing to class, sitting in a chair for just long enough to recover before doing it all again.  

It is hard to believe that I had more time between classes when I was sitting at home in front of a computer than I do now that I am on campus. By adding more time between Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes, UMW will help lower students’ stress and improve their concentration in class.

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