Interterm: The End of an Era

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By Edwin Buiter

This year will mark the last year that McPherson College has an interterm semester. Interterm begins on January 3rd and ends on January 25th. For the month of January, students take only one class, typically for three to four hours per day, every day. For years, McPherson has had an interterm semester, but after this year will change to a regular two semester academic year. This change will make the schedule match better with other colleges and universities. Since this is the final interterm for all of us, here’s a look at what was good and bad about interterm.  

First, the good. I personally love interterm. Unlike regular semesters, the schedule is the same every day. For some, this more set routine is helpful, and you don’t have to memorize and plan around a complex schedule. I have found my past interterm experiences to be a time of focus and routine. Depending on the interterm class, the one-class-a-day schedule can leave much more free time in the day than a typical semester. This time can be utilized for work, or for relaxing during the cold winter month. The lack of other classes means you can focus on the single class. Or, if you are ahead in credits, many students choose to skip the interterm semester, either staying at home to work or pursuing short internships over January. Especially with the Student Debt Project match, this can be a great way to spend interterm.  

Skipping interterm is a choice sometimes driven by a distaste for the January term. It isn’t for everyone, and having the same class every day can be a drag, especially if you dislike your course. January in Kansas isn’t typically a pleasant time of the year, and seasonal depression can be compounded by a dislike of the interterm experience. Fortunately, it is only a month and the class is over before you know it.  

Whether you love it or hate it, interterm is set to go away. For the interterm lovers, enjoy your last short semester this January, and for the interterm haters, celebrate that you’ll never have to do it again.