I’ve heard this is a very intense first year program in which you explore the western canon.
I didn’t personally undertake directed studies (or “DS”), but I have several friends who did. Overall, the workload is more rigorous than an average freshman’s. However, depending on your study habits and preferences, it can actually make life easier. Because students are required to write an essay every week, their workload is distributed evenly throughout the semester. For some, this means avoiding stressful peaks around exam periods/the final submission deadline (for essays and other work). For others, this means enduring a stressful deadline every single week.