Who would have guessed taking a course or two over the summer would be so beneficial?
The winter term is coming to an end and summer is right around the corner. What are your plans for the summertime? If you don’t have any solid plans, you may want to consider continuing your studies in the summer. Depending on your goals and how much you’d want to take on, you could take a course or two, or even a full course load during the summer. Now, you may be thinking “why would I want to keep studying in the summer?” We must be crazy for even suggesting this! But, there are many benefits to continuing your studies in the summer.
If you’re unsure about why you should consider this, check out these seven reasons why studying in the summer could be great for you:
1. Lightened course load
If you’ve been taking courses full-time during the fall and winter terms, then you should consider studying in the summer. Taking courses full-time typically means you’re in five or more courses in the fall and winter, which can be a lot of effort managing your time and schedule to complete all the work.
By taking a course or two during the summer term, you’ll be able to take fewer courses in the fall and winter terms. You’ll be able to focus on fewer courses at once — which also means fewer assignments, readings, and exams — and increase your potential for success.
2. Finish your degree earlier
A common misconception about post-secondary degrees is that the time they take to complete is determined by the number of years. For example, an honour’s bachelor’s degree is typically four years long. But, degrees are actually measured by course credits. Each course is worth either a full or half credit, and you need to earn a certain amount of credits to receive your degree.
If you take one or more courses during the summer terms, then you’ll be earning credits towards your degree at a quicker pace than students who only study in the fall and winter terms. So, you could finish your four-year honour’s bachelor program in just three years by continuing your studies through the summers. This option can be tough, but with the right mindset and a good support system, you can pull it off and earn that degree sooner!
3. Retake courses to boost your grades
There may be a time that you receive a grade for a class that’s not what you wanted and it feels like the end of the world. Your schedule is already so full that you can’t retake the course next term, but you don’t want this one course to negatively impact your GPA — or worse, you can’t take another course because the one you failed was a prerequisite.
By retaking the course in the summer, you’ll be able to focus all your attention on the one course you need, as opposed to having to divide your focus between multiple courses. Once you succeed in boosting your grade in that class over the summer, you’ll be able to get back to your regularly scheduled courses just in time for the fall term.
This is a great option if you want to apply to grad school, especially if you don’t have the courses or GPA to get in. You could use this time to make yourself a better candidate and take the courses you’d need for grad school or get your GPA where you need it to be.
Even if you don’t need to boost your grade in a certain class, the summer could be a good chance to take your more difficult courses. In doing so, you’ll have the opportunity to maximize your focus on that course and you’ll even make your fall/winter terms easier to manage. You never know, the course could be easier or the professor could be more lenient due to the sunny summer weather and shorter term!
4. Take courses that conflict with your fall/winter schedule
Has there ever been a course that you really wanted to take, but you couldn’t make it fit in your schedule? Well, the summer is the perfect time for you to explore all of those courses that have piqued your interest.
Check out some courses outside of your degree program! Are you a biology student who has a budding love for mystery novels? Then take an English course in the summer so you can branch out and explore your new interest. You’ll be able to discover subjects that you’ve never considered before.
5. Smaller class sizes
Another benefit of taking courses in the summer is there aren’t hundreds of students in each class. With a much smaller class size, you’ll have more opportunities to make connections with your classmates and your professor. You can use this to your advantage and get on good terms with your professor, who you can then ask to be a reference for you down the line.
6. Shorter class term
The length of a summer term varies for each school, but typically summer terms may be shorter than your fall/winter terms. So, you’ll be able to complete a course credit in a shorter amount of time than if you were to have taken that same course in another term.
Keep in mind that this could mean the same amount of work is crammed into a shorter time frame, but some professors will make adjustments to the course so you won’t have to do more work than necessary.
7. Campus is less busy
Most students will go home for the summer, which means that the campus is much less busy. This could be a huge benefit, as you’ll get to grab your morning coffee before class without waiting 15 minutes in a ridiculously long line, grab lunch at the on-campus cafés and restaurants without having to wait for a table, hit the gym whenever you want without worrying about it being crowded, and enjoy the warm weather outside on one of the limited picnic tables or benches. You’ll have the run of the campus to yourself!
So, if you were on the fence about whether you should continue your studies in the summer, take this as your sign to do it!