Last August, The LaSallian surveyed different students from the College of Liberal Arts, the college with the most number of students in DLSU. Though there are many courses, it was certain that most of the respondents surveyed agreed to floating subjects and pre-thesis courses are the hardest with distinct characteristics defining the difficulty level.
This month, The Menagerie is continuing the conversation on hard subjects that plague students by heading over to the college that deals with debits and assembly lines: the College of Business (COB). Though dealing with different fields, based on the responses from students, it’s clear that no one is safe from the wrath of difficult professors and complex computations in campus.
Floating on facts
While some students believe that FILDLAR or “ENGLSTRESS” is the bane of their existence, College of Business students would agree that floating subjects like MANSCIE (Management Science) or DECSCI2 (Business Statistics II) are particularly difficult. Patricia, a junior studying Financial Management attests to this. “It’s difficult because you can’t just go from one step to another,” Pat adds. “You ‘literally’ have to go over a mountain to understand just one of the simple concepts, and there are a lot,” she furthers.
After all the discussion on the topics, it’s not hard to imagine students drifting off into their daydreams and start thinking about where they’re going to eat lunch. Likewise, Ton (III, MKT) feels that DECSCI2 was a hard subject. Of course, not all difficult subjects are from the College of Business. Students like Felix (IV, ECM-FIN) think that INTFILO is difficult because of the professor handling the class.
“I’m currently taking INTFILO now and I find it quite hard because I’m taking it under a prof who likes to give long quizzes and has a lot of groupworks that we have to prepare for,” Felix states. “But he’s good in grading. He just gave us an incentive, like +10%, in the finals.” Felix adds. The journey of taking a subject is filled with ups and downs, and sometimes, the professor helps make the roller coaster ride either worth it or worth a request for a refund.
Still, COB students have different strokes when it comes to what subjects are difficult for them. For instance, Jirel (IV, APC) thinks that HUREONE is tough. The aforementioned subject tackles HR Planning, Recruitment, Selection, Training and Development. While the course content itself is manageable, it is the professor who adds a different kick to the subject. On the other hand, Micah (III, ADV) believes that the math courses are difficult because of the processes. “It’s all because of the heavy math. For the problem solving, it requires a lot of time to solve one problem.” She then adds that the difference between a 4.0 and another term of taking the same subject depends on your “luck” with enrolling under some professors. “Yes, because there are different personalities, and sometimes they have different moods,” she affirms about the stature of some professors. Jeun (IV, AE-MGT) listed Management Information Systems for Business Management Students (MISBUSI) as a laborious subject, given the fact that COB students are not really wired for studying computer-related subjects aside from the usual laboratory courses.
Of course, a student’s journey in the College of Business will not be complete without the mandatory Basic Accounting subjects. Anne (IV, APC) believes that Accounting for Partnerships and Corporations (ACTPACO) is difficult because the subjects are “fast paced lessons that are difficult to understand in a short amount of time.” Jonas (IV, AE-MGT) agrees with her, saying that “small mistakes can cause even bigger mistakes.”
Indeed, a lot of COB students are lamenting over the difficulty of accounting subjects, since it eats up a lot of time that can be allotted for other subjects. Even in basic accounting subjects, one has to read, analyze, understand, and eventually answer the assigned problems just to prepare for six brain-crunching exams in a term, which does not even include the midterm and final exams. No wonder the Amphitheater and LS Building are filled with students clutching onto their accounting folders for dear life every final exam week.
Unsurprisingly, many respondents answered that the major subjects they are taking now have been very taxing. Dan (III, LGL) cites that, for him, LABOREL (Labor Law and Relations) is a difficult subject. “First of all, if it’s under Dr. Caraan, you’ll have to do mandatory recitation every meeting. There are six quizzes, very hard quizzes; aside from those quizzes, you have to pass case digests,” Dan says. When asked how many case digests were expected from the class, Dan states, “For the first part, you have to pass, I think, 27 case digests.”
Given that DLSU is a research university, it is normal for freshmen to write mini-research papers that will eventually escalate to major research papers when they become upperclassmen. Audrey, an Applied Corporate Management Junior, considers Management Research (MAREACM) as a tough nut to crack. Not only was it hard to think of a topic that all group members want to conduct a study on, it was also tedious to look for related literature that can be included in the research.
Meanwhile, Financial Management students and their counterparts at the School of Economics were united in their answer of Econometrics (FINMET1, FINMET2, ECONMET, ECOMET2) as one of the hardest subjects in their course. Kristin (IV, AE-FIN) shares that “it requires intensive math skills for analysis of practical applications.” Patricia also says that the software used in Econometrics requires familiarization, as the topics are like building blocks heaped on top of each other. Naturally, without a good grasp of the most basic of topics, the software would not be able to produce the desired results.
Diving into the depthless world of Accountancy, many believe that the word Mods requires no introduction and no explanation. Nevertheless, Jenevieve (IV, BSA) puts it this way, “These subjects make you crazy!! All in ang brains dito. Kulang pa ang isang brain para maalala lahat ng topics.” It goes without saying that it is normal to see Accountancy students cry over their grades, and even post their grief on the DLSU – Secret Files page. The professional Accountancy organization at the university, JPIA, has even sold shirts containing the words Eat.Pray.Mods, illustrating just how much of an uphill and bumpy climb Accountancy is.
Pro tips from veterans
With injuries and trauma comes the wisdom that stems from the experiences derived from difficult subjects. Patricia advises students yet to take their major subjects to do light research about the course “because there’s so much to learn in a short span of time.” Micah agrees, shedding light on the difficulty of some students with math. “For those who are having a hard time in application of Math, they should learn how to complement both the concepts and the math. There are lessons wherein you have to understand the concepts first then you apply it to the math solving, problem solving, mathematical computations,” she states. On the other hand, Ton believes that maintaining relationships with the students from the same department who have taken the majors is important. “You know, they can give you tips that the teacher will never mention to you or will explain to you in a much simpler way than a professor can,” Ton further adds.
Kristin advises students to never give up, while Audrey and Anne both emphasize the importance of reading in advance and taking every chapter seriously. Still, when all has been said and done, it is sometimes better to heed Jonas’ advice of sleeping well and praying for the best.
“Eventually, they’ll be able to appreciate their course even more because they’ll know how to apply the lessons they’ve been reading on,” Patricia adds. At the end of the day, though, it’s all about taking every experience at face value. Felix shares, “I enjoyed my stay in the University and I’m looking forward to the last few terms of my course and hopefully now that I’m in a position that I know what I went through, that would be nice for me to be able to pass that on to younger people.” Oftentimes, the hardships and failures that occur from these tough subjects are learning experiences in the end that teach students that it’s about the journey, filled with caffeinated nights, countless notebooks, and defeated wills, not the grade.