Summer is definitely meant for relaxing and taking time for yourself, but taking a few summer classes may be something to think about. Surprisingly, they do have a lot of benefits.
Writing final exams at the end of the winter term, when the summer weather is ready to brighten our lives, is a tough job. We want to hang out and have fun, but the school stress drains us. We can’t help imagining ourselves enjoying the bright and warm weather. In this situation, why would we even think of taking summer classes?
Taking a summer course can help students get their hardest classes out of the way. I am a psychology student, but I am still required to take six credits of science courses — a fact that I hate about my undergraduate degree.
Finishing a tough class in just a few weeks has its own pros and cons. In many ways, the struggle is easier because you know that it will be over soon. However, if you take an upper-year course in the spring and summer terms, you may feel a little overwhelmed with the amount of content.
I tried my hand at a third-year psychology course one summer, and although I got an excellent grade, those three weeks were very hard for me indeed.
You can finish your degree on time, or early, if you take summer classes. I struggle with taking five courses per semester, and I am sure that many people can relate to this. Cutting down on the number of classes you take per semester can alleviate this, while still finishing your degree within the prescribed four years.
Summer classes may also help you get employment or into the honours program early. I finished my third-year psychology courses in the spring and summer, which helped me get into the honours program in my final year. You may just need to finish one or two classes to gain entrance into a specific program.
For example, when you can’t register for a professional application because you are behind a few courses, you end up wasting a semester or even a year. What else could be more frustrating than this?
Completing those third-year classes ahead of time also helped me gain some volunteer research experience. Once I finished my psychology requirements, I was able to volunteer as a research assistant for a few psychology and sociology professors.
I agree that summer is the time to relax, but trust me, the sunshine of summer can be an encouragement to work harder. While the freezing winter days can demotivate us, the warm summer weather can make us more cheerful and happy. In this situation, our academic performance can be positively affected, too.
Worried about missing out on summer activities while taking these classes? One tip is to budget your time. Take courses in May and June, and enjoy July and August. Or maybe go outside for a walk after school or when you have finished your assignments. Amidst your attempt to get ahead in your degree, don’t forget to take some time out for yourself and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Graphic: Jaymie Stachyruk / Graphic Editor