POL108- Introduction To Global Politics (1 Viewer)

LightOfTheSeven

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So, this was the first unit I enrolled in and I'm starting Macquarie this semester. But in the last 24 hours I've started to really doubt this course. Although those fields interest me (enough to think enrolling in Global Politics was a good idea), I have no intention whatsoever to major in politics or international relations. Really, the course interests me but I much prefer more specific content (that is usually seen in 200 and 300 level, so I know this is the norm for most courses to start off with 'introductory' 'basic' units).

I'm also worried about the quality of the course because I've heard its a mixed bag. If anyone has done it, or know someone who has could you please tell me the experiences of the unit? Because from what I've seen, its not a prerequesite for any POL units that would interest me later on. Unless the skills you learn from the unit could be valuable.

I also haven't been at university for a while, and I'm taking on four units. Whilst I'm aware alot of students take that level on- I fear I'm going to get overwhelmed and struggle to manage (because I'm just getting used to uni life), and have to drop one when its far too late. People close to me have told me to do three subjects, and I should listen to them.

I could just be freaking about absolutely nothing, and maybe the smart thing to do is just go next week and see for myself what its like. But if you think I'm undervaluing this unit, or worrying too much please tell me. I just think I'll be more motivated and do better in a subject that has more relevance to my academic goals. Granted, I am aiming for an internal course transfer at the end of the year- and there is a GPA requirement- so maybe three subjects I can really focus on would boost up my chances.
 
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Hiya, your fears and feelings are normal. I know someone who did POL107 last semester and he got a D or HD, i forget, but i'll ask him. POL108 is also a people unit right? So it's nice to get that out the way, but there's no rush...
I too did 4 units in s1 last year (I did 2 units in s2) and you WILL be overwhelmed. But the fact that you're worried about that tells me that you want to do well, and actually understand the content. And that is commendable - A lot of people just turn up to pass...

So as for dealing with being overwhelmed -
First, Don't Panic - the old cliche, anything you don't understand is just something you don't understand YET.. (it's true!) Take heart from Richard Feynman "What one fool can learn, so can another.."

Also, the 2 week mid-sem break is a lifeline - I used it successfully to come to grips with everything that flew past me. (I'm doing a Bsc Science - Phys Astr and Math) So a lot of things fly by and you it feels like a fast moving train where you just hang on...

After the mid-sem, as the content keeps coming, you start to think "HEY that's enough now, my brain is full!" - But I'm glad it stretched me. I think of Uni a bit like having a personal trainer BUT they just give you the method and end-goal, most of the actual work is done at home. After all, the text books are all there for us to read, but without being accountable to assignments and exams, how hard do you think we would work on our own ? :)

The dropping out thing is a tough one, it's on my mind for at least one non-compulsory unit this semester already, but only because i've seen the first few weeks lecture notes and problems and they seem overwhelming. It would be foolish of me to make that call now though, or even after the first week. It's a fine line between thinking you can't do something (that you probably could) and making an informed decision such as 'No, this content is not for me, I don't see it as part of my future...' - So keep the options open, attend the lectures, but in particular think to yourself - "Do I want to know this?"
People units are a pain for sciency students, and planet units are a pain for artsy students... hopefully you'll get some more advice.
I'll get back to you about POL107, because often these faculties have similar qualities in delivery and enjoyment.
 
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Review of POL107 - "Good, yeah interesting.." Haha, this guy is not one to over describe, but he enjoyed it, got a distinction apparently.
 

LightOfTheSeven

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Thanks for the indepth reply! I think I'll just give it a go. 4 units is alot, so I had a look through my International Relations textbook. And it's vague, but it gives a good, thorough outline and has vital discussion points. Sadly, the unit is not up on iLearn yet but I think I can do the content and even enjoy it. I'm quite opinionated, and the course would attract like minded individuals... so it'd be really enjoyable and complex, or just nasty and unpleasant. I know you don't pick your fellow students, but I hope my classmates are reasonable. Macquarie doesn't strike me as a place where people would be outright awful to you for challenges, there is a reason why I'm so excited to go to MQ. I guess what I need to do is manage my time more efficently.

Again- I appreciate that you were upfront about dropping units. As you probably know, week one is usually an introduction unit and is usually vague, so you can't really change that. But there is no shame in studying ~outside~ of your academic goals. There is no shame in being challenged, or pushed to your limits. I'll remind myself of that. So I think I'll do the unit (and find out I'm not the only confused first year :smile: )

Thanks for mentioning the mid semester break- two weeks can make a huge difference! I can use that time to improve my focus a bit, go over what I've learned and do some assignments. Although people don't want me doing four units, I hope I can communicate to them that not only can I do that, but I want to achieve goals that in the long term would make me very happy.

Your response was terrific! Thanks again (yes, I'm being nervous, must be start of the semester nerves!)
So I'll do the unit.
 
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Thats ok, no problem. I think we have 4 weeks to drop units and face no financial / gpa penalty. They will email you to remind you anyway.
And you're right, 4 units is hectic (depending on what they are and how immersed you are in them.) I spent 95% of my time in semester 1 on Math/Phys and gave Chemistry/Astronomy the only energy I had left, still did pretty good, but it was a relief to only study 2 units last semester. But as you find your groove, you'll also find your own strengths & weaknesses and you can adapt quickly.
I think MQ is a terrific institution. You can't chose your tutorial mates, that's true, and people chatting during lectures can be a nightmare, but you'll also meet amazing people and reflect on your goals/future. Best of luck to you!
I'm actually dreading my own People unit coming up, I don't want to do it, but it has to be done sometime - PHL137. It looked like the best of a bunch of stuff I'm not passionate about :-/
 

ilikecats

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Academic Dates:
26th March: Census. Last day to withdraw without academic and financial penalties. (No record on academic transcript and no associated HECS cost)

April 28th: Last day to withdraw without academic penalty (financial penalty applies aka. you are still charged for the unit on HECS)

11th June: Last date to withdraw with academic and financial penalties (Withdrawn shown on transcript, HECS fees applied)


Import academic dates can be found here: https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

If you withdraw from a unit (ie. 4 to 3), you are still considered a full time student for purposes such as SSAF fees, Opal cards, Centrelink etc.

However, if you undertake 2 or less units in a semester, you are considered part time.


I would recommend trying the unit for a few weeks and seeing if you enjoy it. If not, withdraw by the census. If you can, undertake a summer (session 3) unit so you don't fall behind in terms of completion date of your degree.
 

LightOfTheSeven

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Thanks for your responses!

I'll keep the academic dates in mind. Falling behind doesn't exactly worry me because I already have 6 Credit Points completed (I did OUA subjects last year in English Literature and History). Still aiming for a 4-year degree, but as it is a potentially concurrent one it may take longer. So pretty much I have no idea how long my planned degree will take.

Politics is interesting for me because I was put off by all the core subjects- but really intrigued by the choices. So when I said 'I had no intention'... I used to. I thought a double major in History + Politics was absolutely perfect. I guess core subjects is something you have to get over and just do them. They aren't the end of the world, and everyone will eventually have to do them. I apologize- because when I said 'I had no intention to major' that was rather misleading. Maybe I should see how I go with Global Politics, and at the end of the year review where I'm at and pick secondary majors and perhaps my plan for a concurrent degree. But as I am new to university, just focusing on getting through this session should be my priority.

By the way, I've had nothing but good experiences so far with MQ. I was lost twice on Wednesday, and at both times someone came up to me and asked if I needed help with directions. I know there is no smooth, easy university experience, but I'm excited to go here. So when people label it as terrific- I can believe that.
 

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