By: Meghan Daniel, contributing writer
When Wofford students begin perusing the Interim courses available for the upcoming January, there is one big distinction that separates one category of classes from the other: location. Each student must ask him or herself, “will I select an on-campus course option, or will I step out into the realm of study-abroad?” (or study-across-the-country, as applies to some Interim courses).
Questions like this are the ones that linger in the minds of Wofford students each year as January approaches. What will be lost, and what will be gained if you choose to stay or if you choose to go during interim? For some people, dreams of climbing to Mount Everest drift through their imaginations. For others, however, visions of spinning pottery wheels dance in their heads.
Although choosing an interim class, much less registering successfully for said class, can be stressful, students can find relief in knowing that there is no bad option. Even if you had your heart set on seeing the sights on a safari in Africa and you end up knitting in your dorm room nestled somewhere along 429 N. Main Street in good old Sparkle City, all is not lost. In fact, there is yet so much to gain.
In theory, there are two sides to interim: either you give yourself wholeheartedly to whatever endeavor you have signed off on for the month of January, or you grumble and complain about it. The attitude that you have about your interim course should not depend on how much it costs to participate in the program or how incredible your Instagram photos are during the weeks of interim.
Having spent one semester on campus and one abroad, I can attest the truth of the statement on Wofford’s interim page online that reads “Interim frees students and faculty to spend the month of January focused on a single topic designed to expand the walls of the traditional classroom, explore new and untried topics, take academic risks, observe issues in action, develop capabilities for independent learning and consider different peoples, places and professional options.” This is the case for all interim courses: on campus, interning, exploring abroad alike. That is the beauty of interim.
When everything is over and done, mountains are summited, pottery is fired and glazed, and adventures are completed, interim at Wofford is not about where you were, but rather what you learned. There is no better or worse option as long as no ‘what-ifs’ or ‘I-wishes’ are left on the table. One January you may learn self-defense in a dojo down the road from Wofford’s campus, and the next you may find yourself learning about healthcare in Chile. Either way, you as a Wofford student are sure to have the opportunity to “explore new and untried topics.” The key to interim is to take a relentless hold on the opportunity you are offered, no matter the lesson or location.