By Richard Coca
As an undeclared frosh who genuinely doesn’t know what he’s doing, every quarter represents a new problem for me. As enrollment opens on Axess, so does Pandora’s box. Without a doubt, my class schedule has determined my attitude for each respective quarter. My fall quarter — scheduled with introsems and introductory classes like PWR — embodied the innocent freshman spirit, full of excitement and assignments that provided the very “intellectual vitality” Stanford promised to us. My winter quarter — full of classes I needed to get out of the way — pummeled away at my love for learning and sought to demand more and more until I could no longer give any more of myself. Spring quarter offered me a chance to close all my tabs and refresh.
Spring quarter would be different. A new quarter for me not only meant a new schedule but a new way to choose my schedule. So, I did what anyone would naturally do when in need of help. I went on Twitter.
One tweet later and my new schedule was assembled. I have to say, I am satisfied.
Thanks to my Twitter followers, I have a three-day weekend every week, and I don’t hate any of my classes — especially to the extent where I feel obligated to write a hate letter to them.
If I’m being quite honest, I set the bar low for all the classes Twitter recommended. It’s not because I didn’t trust my mutuals, but rather because winter quarter hit me so hard, I was ready to shop any class that didn’t rhyme with “bath 51.”
My spring quarter schedule has not only cleared such a low bar, it has also undoubtedly raised it. Winter quarter was full of classes with discussion sections and lectures that simply occupied time and were dispersed in such a way that the break in between classes was not really enough to mentally recover. My classes this quarter range from course favorites such as “Rock, Sex, and Rebellion” to lesser known introsem such as “Animal Use in Biomedical Research.” Thanks to Twitter, my schedule is a nice amalgam between the humanities and STEM, allowing me to get more breadth in my course selection while also studying more niche subjects within the natural sciences.
It’s also thanks to Twitter that I found a class like no other in my past quarters at Stanford — and something tells me that’ll be true even after this quarter ends. I am currently enrolled in the Institute for Diversity in the Arts’ class, “Long Live Our 4Bil. Year Old Mother: Black Feminist Praxis, Indigenous Resistance, Queer Possibility.” The most powerful feature of this class, which is the same reason that I find myself so grateful to be in it, is its capacity for personal growth and a chance to listen to artists, scholars and organizers of color. Their exploration of various systems of oppression, in addition to their presentation of how they’re working to empower the most marginalized members of society, offers a most refreshing alternative to the introductory classes that don’t immediately seem to be applicable to helping others.
In a sense, allowing Twitter to pick my classes was the exact change I needed to avoid feeling burnt out. So many of us often obsess over the nitty-gritty, complaining about how a closed lecture will throw off our entire four-year plan. However, if you’re lucky enough to be able to explore, do it. I invite you to allow Twitter, or maybe Instagram (if you’re looking out to be an influencer) choose at least one — or if you’re feeling bold, all — of your classes. You’ll find yourself mildly surprised.
Contact Richard Coca at richcoca ‘at’ stanford.edu.