If I could have five more minutes, that would be great


Mollie Shiflett ’26 is a history major who may also major in linguistics. She plays on the Gold Women’s Club Soccer team for the College of William and Mary and is an avid fan of most sports — except golf. Email Mollie at mrshiflett@wm.edu.

The views expressed in the article are the author’s own.

This piece isn’t going to be groundbreaking. An opinion isn’t going to find a cure for cancer or anything close to that, but I am going to talk about what’s been bothering me lately — which isn’t groundbreaking either. As I’ve been looking through the possible options for classes next semester — opinion article incoming about that too — I was hit with a crippling realization: There is no way I won’t have to run from Boswell Hall to Tucker Hall in 10 minutes next semester. 

In past years, this may not have been a big deal — just kidding, this has always sucked — but it is getting even worse as construction continues. This brings us to the larger point of the article: How did the scheduling gods decide that classes should start ten minutes apart? Other than creating a pretty schedule, I don’t see what the benefit is to giving students permanent charley horses from speed walking their way across campus. What would be wrong with 20 minutes between classes? If you had a class at lunch time, you’d have time to stop for a snack, so that you aren’t starving in your next class, or doing what I have seen some people do — eating a substantial lunch in the middle of class. If you can do that, I admire you, but if I was in a lecture hall, and the room goes quiet for any reason, I don’t want the only sound echoing in the room to be the sound of me eating an apple, and I definitely don’t want to make everyone smell whatever I am eating.

The easy solution to this would be to not take classes back to back. You don’t think that I’ve tried that already? When I say I have no other option, it’s because I literally have no other option. I would love for some of the classes in my major to have two sections, but they don’t. So I’m stuck with what I have, and I think that the College of William and Mary should recognize that. Especially in the smaller majors, there is frequently only one section for required classes, which means that when they’re offered, you have to take them. The College should recognize that there’s a possibility that that class could butt up on another required class and create a more lenient time frame. 

To give context, when I was in high school — mine spanned three buildings — we had ten minutes to make it in between classes. That was for three buildings right next to each other. According to my Google Maps, there is 0.6 miles between Boswell Hall and Tucker Hall, which is a twelve minute walk, and with construction, we are rapidly running out of shortcuts — RIP Earl Gregg Swem Library stairs. If I had 10 minutes to walk a tenth of a mile in high school, why do we get the same amount of time to walk six times as far? It’s unfair for students to be forced to walk that far if they don’t have a bike or scooter, which I don’t. Not only is it exhausting, but there are also professors that will start directly when the class starts — meaning that as you are leaving one of your lungs somewhere on the Barksdale field — so you are also missing out on part of your lecture. Normally I wouldn’t be too bothered by that, but when your professor doesn’t use slides or record their lectures, you’re pretty much screwed.

I don’t want much — and to be fair, nothing will probably come of this article — but I would like the scheduling powers to recognize that this campus is pretty big if you’re relying on your feet, and I’d like to go one semester without having to run to class.


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