There are lots of stigmas around summer classes. Most people do not like summer school because summer is when they can take a breath after a stressful academic year. Not everyone can handle stress for a long period of time, so summer is a chance for them to take care of their mental health. Some people prefer working, travelling, or discovering new things during their break. There are different reasons for people to choose to go or not to school in the summer. However, as a person who took summer classes every year, I would like to point out some of the benefits that you should consider.
Thanks to summer school, I am going to graduate one year earlier. As an international student, I have to pay around $27,000 a year for tuition fees, not including the fees for food and housing. This is a huge amount of money. Graduating one year earlier helps me save the amount that I was supposed to pay for one year of rent and groceries. Also, as I am graduating earlier, I can find a job earlier to pay off my student debt.
The duration of a summer class is usually half of the duration of a normal class in the academic year. A half-credit course in the summer is six weeks long rather than twelve weeks long like in the academic year. A full-credit course in summer is twelve weeks long instead of a full academic year.
There are three terms in the summer: S61, S62, and S12. If a class is in the term S61, it takes place during the first six weeks of summer (May 3, 2023 - June 13, 2023). S62 contains classes taking place during the last six weeks of summer (June 19, 2023 - July 28, 2023). S61 and S62 classes are usually half-credit. S12 is for full-credit courses that take place over the summer (May 3, 2023 - July 28, 2023).
As summer classes are shorter, readings are usually cut down to suit the summer short-duration format. Though you have to do more work in a week, the overall workload of a course is usually lighter.
I found it easier to get higher marks in the summer. As I said, the overall workload of a course is usually lighter. I also have more time in the summer to cover the materials of every module, while in the academic year, I usually rush through readings due to its fast-paced nature. Understanding the materials better can improve your marks.
A summer class usually has fewer assignments. Losing marks for a bigger assignment is not as bad as losing marks for several smaller assignments at a time. Therefore, you can stand a chance to get higher marks in the summer.
Have you ever come back in the fall and realized you forgot everything you have learned? This is “the shock” I am talking about, and it can take weeks to transition to a new academic year. Taking one or two classes in the summer can help you practice what you have learned, and therefore be able to keep up with the following semester.
There are courses that are only available in the summer. For example, the Images in Contemporary Media course I took last year about how Indigenous Peoples are represented in contemporary media was only offered in the summer. There are also lots of language courses only offered in the summer. Summer classes are a good way to fill your electives. Summer courses tend to be more flexible and creative in format. There are many different options for you to choose from. You can choose to explore a new field or stay within your major. They will eventually benefit you in one of the ways above.
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