Before college, summer was that long break between grades when you were able to soak up the sun and enjoy your freedom. Responsibilities were at an all time low and it felt like your well-deserved break from all your “hard work” during the school year.
What a difference a year or two can make! Now that you’re a college student, your time during summer break is more valuable than ever. Yes, you still want to be able to take a break from it all and relax, but you also realize that summer can be a great chance to either catch up or get ahead. In order to do this, more and more students are considering summer school to help ensure they reach their academic goals.
Deciding whether or not to enroll for summer school can be tough. There are many factors to consider, including how successful you’ll be and how to avoid burnout.
Here are some pros and cons of summer school to consider:
- It’s often easier to get into the classes you really need. You may have missed an essential class in your schedule because it filled up too quickly during the semester. Summer school allows you to get into these classes easier and at realistic times of the day.
- The class sizes are usually smaller. Some of the classes that may have as many as 200 – 300 students during the year will shrink to as low as 20 – 30 during the summer. This allows you to actually meet your professors and possible get more one on one interaction.
- Classes are often more relaxed. Both students and professors tend to relax during the summer months. A more relaxed atmosphere can lead to a better learning environment. Besides, who wouldn’t prefer a more laid back professor.
- You can get ahead by taking a pre-requisite class in the summer for a class you’re interested in for the fall. Summer school is the perfect opportunity to knock out some of the pesky classes you’ve been needing to finish.
- Classes are often faster paced. Typically, the classes offered in summer school are very compressed requiring classes to meet every day for an hour or two. This can lead to a very intense schedule, especially when you are adding homework in on top of everything.
- You may not get the normal faculty. Some professors take the summer off, which means that you will receive instruction from someone who is not typically on staff. Even though they are qualified to teach, they may not be as familiar with the focus of the class.
- A class may not cover everything. Considering the compressed timeframe in which a class is supposed to be completed, there is a chance that a summer school class will not cover all of the material that would be covered during the semester. Even if everything is squeezed into the 6-week timeframe of a summer class, it may be difficult to retain as much.
These are just a few of the pros and cons of taking summer classes. Ultimately, it comes down to the individual and what their goals are. Summer school may not be something that you can do every year, but maybe every other year so you still have a summer break to look forward to.