Pro/Con: summer classes

Pro: Anna Gleason

Pro:

For some of us, summer classes are the light at the end of a very dark and dismal tunnel. As someone who has gone through the transfer process and seen just how much the four-year schools can cut you down, I have gone from hating summer classes to loving them, the same way a fat kid loves cake.

“Summer” and “school” are two words in the English language that were never meant to be paired together. They are like oil and vinegar; they just don’t mesh.

However, I was unlucky enough to find out, mere days before the second summer session started, that I would need to take a math class as soon as possible if I was going to be able to transfer to California State University, Fullerton for the following spring. So I hopped on my computer, enrolled in a summer math class, and was on my way to becoming a university girl.

So you see, you don’t have to avoid summer classes like the plague; rather, embrace them. They are there to help you, not hinder you.

Still not convinced? Well, try this on for size: summer classes are five days a week (yes, I know, so high school). But keep reading. In six weeks, you go to class, do your homework, take the tests and before you know it, you’re finished. Trust me, you’ll be sitting at Starbucks after your final, listening to your iPod, texting on your Blackberry, and enjoying your soy latte while saying to yourself, “Wow, that wasn’t too bad.”

Try to think about it this way: you’re taking what would be four months worth of classes and condensing them down into a month and a half. This is almost two-thirds less time spent sitting in class in uncomfortable chairs, pretending to pay attention.

A shorter semester also helps you to retain information. Instead of learning about quantum mechanics and having a test every four or five weeks, you will more than likely be given a weekly or bi-weekly quiz, plus two tests. This sort of academic marathon is much better at helping you retain information than the normal semester-long classes. We’ve all had those classes, the ones that cram so much information into your head that by the time the test rolls around, you’re certain that your head will explode. Or perhaps your brain will have turned to mush from everything that is being shoved into your skull.

Trust me, kiddies, it’s like ripping off a Band-Aid. Just go for the gold. The more you think it will be a horrific experience, the more you’ll avoid it.

No one wants to be in community college for the next 40 years, so do yourself a favor and take some extra summer classes. They are quick, easy and painless. The workload is the same, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to tell you this will be an easy “A,” but I am trying to tell you that it will help speed you down that academic highway.

 

Con:

Summer. That special time of year when you get to relax and take a break from your hectic, crazy worries, a.k.a. school. You work hard in the fall, and even harder in the spring, so why push yourself to work at all in the summer?

Everyone needs to take a break. Summer is a chance for students to lay back, take in some rays, and have fun.

The whole point of college, and school in general—if you ask someone over the age of thirty—is to prepare us for the “real world.”

Part of this “real world” is growing up and getting a job. Maybe you will get to take a Sunday off here or there. But inevitably, you’ll be working full-time, year round, in a depressing cubicle inside a dark and sterile building.

Yes, we all need to get used to working full time at some point, but we don’t have to yet. We don’t have to get accustomed to a horrifying schedule like that until we graduate. Who wants to go straight into a depressing whirl of responsibilities and daily routines?

Nobody should have to grow up that fast. College is a time to figure out who you are. It’s a chance for you to explore the world and all of the wonderful exciting possibilities it has to offer you.

You should slowly and fully enjoy the breaks life offers before it’s too late. Once you get out of college, you’re going to have to get a full-time job. It’s just a part of life.

You may like the job you end up with, but you might not. So, knowing this, why would you risk losing your amazing summer break? Knowing this, why would you willingly give up your last chance to be carefree and not have any responsibilities?

Along with losing the chance to go out and see the world for a couple months, you are also forced to come back to a school that, during the summer, offers a minimal option of classes and instructors

In the fall and spring, you can have your pick of the easy-pass classes and easy-going teachers. In the summer, however, you are left to brave out the intense eight-week program with the “military status” instructors.

These educators may be the ones who have the unfortunate task of having to teach a summer class. They will not be happy. Your grade will suffer.

And for all you overachievers that are thinking this is a good chance to take some extra classes and improve your mind, you’re wrong. Summer semester teachers aren’t going to care about what you do or do not learn during their class. They don’t want to be there, and they won’t spend the time to make sure you know what they are talking about in class.

So, please take my advice. Summer classes are not a positive experience. Instead of sticking yourself in a hot Village portable with uncomfortable chairs for the summer semester, remember that summer is your time to relax and enjoy the world —minus the daily routine!
 

 

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