As most of you know, I just recently finished up my summer quarter, and now I only have a few weeks of summer left before I have to return back to school with everyone else. Talk about the dog days of summer!
Today I wanted to discuss the pros and cons of doing summer school – a lot of people will cringe at the thought of doing school during the summer time; I mean, summer is reserved for having ALL the fun at beaches and binge-watching every show on Netflix, right? Wrong. If you’re anything like me, you love being productive in the summer. Sure, the summers in high school are perfect for lazying around, but during your undergraduate college years, summers are crucial. Employers want to see that you’ve been working toward your career during the summer. If you can’t find a job or internship, especially if it’s the summer after your freshman year of college, that’s completely okay! Summer school is the perfect alternative. Employers will understand that, even though you’re not gaining professional experience, you’re still learning and increasing your knowledge. Here’s the list of pros for doing summer school!
PRO #1: Build a stronger relationship with professors. I recently wrote about the relationship you have with college professors, but honestly during the summer, the classes are likely to be smaller and you’ll be able to get to know the professor a lot better than during the school year where there’s a) more students to compete with and b) less time to talk to the professor.
PRO #2: Do better in the classes. It depends on how many summer classes you take, but for me, I only took one class, which gave me plenty of time to focus solely on this one class. Therefore, I did better in it! This pro also ties into Pro #1 – if the professor knows you and you get tons of help, you have a higher chance of doing well in the class and boosting your GPA!
PRO #3: Brain won’t turn to mush! I don’t know about you, but I hate the feeling at the end of the summer where my brain literally feels like mush because I haven’t used it for three months. Not if you do summer school! Your brain will be active and ready for school to start again in the fall.
PRO #4: Get ahead in credits. If you want to graduate early, consider taking summer classes so you’re not wasting any time. Also, if there’s a class you want to take in the fall but has a prerequisite, you can get it over with in the summer and be ready to take it in the fall.
PRO #5: Explore your college city! This has to be one of my main reasons for having done summer quarter this year. I was so in love with Seattle but hadn’t had much opportunity or time to go explore it! I definitely took advantage of that this summer and I’m even more infatuated with the city now after visiting all the tourist attractions and even some of the less-known areas.
PRO #6: Tons of freedom. Overall, there’s just tons of freedom with taking summer classes. You can choose how many classes you take (most of the time, it doesn’t have to be a full course load like during the school year!), what times, and you have overall more free time to explore and study. My summer definitely still felt like a summer because I still had fun but was still busy!
Don’t get me wrong; there are a ton of good reasons to do summer school, but there were a few drawbacks that you might want to consider:
CON #1: Extra tuition. This kind of sucked because during the school year, my scholarship covers a portion for the tuition, but not for summer quarters. Since it was more expensive though, I decided to find another on-campus job and take less credits than during the school year so it kind of balanced out. There are ways to avoid paying more! There’s always the option of taking summer classes at your local community college. I know a lot of my friends did this!
CON #2: Away from home. One of my favorite things about summer time is spending time with your hometown best friends, and this summer I had to miss out on a lot of that. I miss my family and friends dearly and there’s only a little bit of overlap time between me and my friends before they go back to college, so that was sad. A few of them did come visit me on campus though, which is always fun.
CON #3: Making new friends. People may view this as a pro or a con, but I viewed this more as a con because it’s challenging. Most college students do return home for the summer, so chances are, you’ll only have one or two friends/acquaintances who are sticking around. It’s hard to make new friends when you already have a squad! Luckily for me, I got to know some acquaintances better and now they’re some of my closer friends 🤗
And that’s it! Personally, I see the benefits outweighing the costs of summer school, so I highly suggest you consider it. It doesn’t even have to be at your college during the school year, it can be at your local community college or a different university altogether! You can be productive and have fun at the same time. Who knew?