You have various options for how you could spend your summer. If it’s near the end of your time at university, you could find an internship, whereas if you want to increase your savings for next semester, searching for a job could be ideal. One more option is to take summer classes. There are several advantages to doing this — although there are also some significant downsides. Knowing the pros and cons can help you come to an informed decision.
Pro: Graduate Earlier
The main advantage of taking summer classes is to push your graduation date forward. Depending on how many credits you take, you could finish an entire semester earlier or reduce the workload for your remaining semesters to finish on time without burning out.
Con: Lack of Financial Aid
Many financial aid packages only cover classes that take place during regular semesters. If you’re relying on a scholarship or another type of aid to pay for your education, summer classes could lead to an extra expense that may create financial strain.
Pro: Retake Failed or Dropped Classes
You may be behind schedule if you failed or dropped a class in the past. Summer is a great time to pick a class back up. Since you will have already covered some of the material, it should be slightly easier than starting the class from the beginning.
Con: Options Are Limited
It’s likely that only some classes will be available over the summer. The classes you want to take may not be an option.
Pro: Benefit from Smaller Class Sizes
Many students find they do better in small class sizes, as they feel more comfortable participating. You’ll also get to know more of your classmates and develop a stronger rapport with your professors, which is useful for gaining personalized support and (in the future) letters of recommendation.
Con: A Large Amount of Material in a Short Space of Time
Some students find that cramming a full semester’s worth of material into a few weeks over the summer can be overwhelming. This means summer may be best for classes you know you’re unlikely to struggle with.
Pro: More Intensive
Summer classes tend to take place over a shorter amount of time than classes during the regular semester. This can be great for rushing through material you find less interesting. Plus, there may not be as much additional information in the syllabus, which can be helpful if the class is a general education one rather than one required for your major.
Con: Less Free Time
When you’re working out how much time you need to allocate to your summer classes, you’ll need to account for homework and studying. This could mean you have almost no free time.
Pro: Adjust to a New Setting
International students often find it less intimidating to start with summer classes, as it gives them the chance to settle into new surroundings and meet just a few people before the rest of the students return in the fall. You’ll also be able to explore campus and figure out where everything is while the atmosphere is more relaxed.
Con: More Tests
Condensed classes often mean you’re constantly facing assessments. If you find quizzes stressful and would prefer to have more time to prepare for each, it may be better to avoid summer classes.
If you do decide to take summer classes, you’ll need to find student housing. Barrie students can live at Arcadian Students. You’ll have a private room in a fully-furnished suite or townhouse with great amenities to use over the summer and beyond, such as a clubhouse, fitness centre, and outdoor basketball hoop. Apply now for a lease.