We smell summer in the air (and maybe BBQ)! No more papers to write, APA citations to create, or tests to stress about. Summer school might be last on your list of things that make a really great summer. However, with the summer break stretching on for two to three months, there are lots of good reasons to set aside at least some time for summer school. Let’s see if you can be persuaded!
1. Summer School Lets You Try Before You Buy
Many US colleges and universities offer a wide program of summer courses including classes for high school students, undergraduates and graduates. This means that if you’re considering a particular subject, major or college—or even whether you want to attend college at all—you can enjoy a summer school sample before making a commitment lasting several years and costing thousands of dollars. This can be especially useful for students torn between majors, or who are considering switching majors (or colleges) but are unsure.
2. Catch Up On Missed Classes
If you’ve missed a couple classes due to illness, family or work commitments, switching majors, or any other reason, summer is the ideal time to catch up and gain those outstanding academic credits.
Similarly, if there are any aspects of your learning that you don’t feel confident with, you can use the summer break to work on improving them. This could be anything from a specific area of math to more practical formatting skills such as learning how to do a works cited page and parenthetical citations.
3. Accelerate Your Degree
Summer school can also be a great tool if you’re looking to accelerate your degree, especially since summer school courses are often condensed, i.e. you’ll take fewer classes but each class will be longer in length. Completing a course earlier than your peers could give you a head start in the rush for job applications, or free up some time for further study, gaining practical experience, or traveling.
4. Vary Your Educational Experience
Summer programs offer a fantastic opportunity to add variety to your educational experience. They can include anything from intensive classes taught by guest experts in their field, to the chance to participate in hands-on scientific research.
You could choose to enhance your general level of experience and expertise in your usual subject area. For example, some summer programs offer field trips abroad where language students can develop their skills around native speakers. Or you could focus on a very specialized element of your chosen major—a specific style of architecture, for example. Both options are likely to benefit your main college degree, improve your educational resume, and even lead to a higher final grade.
Alternatively, you might want to take a break from your usual subject and study something completely new! Maybe you’re a science major who wants to give creative writing a go, or an English major with an interest in astronomy. Getting sucked into something new over the summer can help you return to your usual classes refreshed and ready to tackle the new academic year.
5. You Can Still Have A Great Summer!
Signing up for extra classes doesn’t have to mean waving goodbye to your summer break completely— fun can still be had! Programs of varying lengths (usually between two and 12 weeks) and commitment levels mean you don’t have to study your entire summer away. Many courses offer an online option for some study sessions, so you can continue to learn if you’re out of town visiting family or even on vacation. Evening classes are also available, if you want to fit extra study around a holiday job or just prefer to make the most of the sunny summer days.
In addition, it’s likely that you’ll be studying something you’re keenly interested in, making it a pleasure rather than a chore. And summer school classes offer a great opportunity to meet new people, perhaps including international students from around the world!
Whether you want to catch up, get ahead or try something new, extra classes can be something to look forward to this summer!