As a child, even entertaining the thought of summer school would have made me want to drop dead. Perhaps that notion continues into adulthood, which is why college campuses are left deserted during the summer months. However, it’s good to keep an open mind and see what opportunities are available to us. In my experience here is what you can expect from taking summer classes at the university level.
What are the pros?
- Smaller class sizes
- Shorter semester
- More one-on-one time with a professor
- Flexibility to skip fall or winter semester for an internship
- Cheaper classes
To add to the list, summer classes also help you graduate in less time, and get you on the path to a career more quickly. In addition, many colleges offer cheaper courses during the summer, and housing is usually discounted.
While I was in college, I had the opportunity to take a summer semester and it was certainly to my benefit. I was able to graduate sooner and save money. Keep in mind, it just so happened that they offered the classes I needed, but this is not always the case. Not every class offered in fall/winter is available during summer semester, so do your homework before you sign an apartment lease for the summer.
What are the cons?
- Faster-paced curriculum
- Fewer offered classes
- Potentially not have a good job or internship for the summer
- No break from school
- Longer class sessions
If you’re a student who likes to take their time and soak up the information week by week, this might not be a good option for you. Summer classes are fast paced, and a large quantity of information is shared with the students during every class. This is due in part because of the shorter semester, so you can expect one class to cover two days of material from a typical semester. I remember feeling like I was drinking out of a firehose sometimes.
Money is a factor. Students who go home and live with parents during the summer time will likely save more than the student in school. It may also be more difficult to find a high paying job, although it should be easy to find work on campus because the student population has decreased considerably.
To register or not to register: that is the question. There are plenty of good reasons to take summer classes and also valid reasons why you would decide not to take that path. If you have a college friend who could benefit from this post, please share it with them. It’s always a good idea to explore our possibilities. Happy studying and good luck!