Let’s face it, summer classes are undeniably crappy. Just think about it: You’re stuck in a hot, stuffy classroom for three hours twice a week, while your friends post Snapchat after Snapchat of themselves and everyone you’ve ever met chilling in the Hamptons. On top of that emotional struggle, summer classes are usually extremely fast-paced and require a major time commitment.
With the fall semester only weeks away, you’ve somehow managed to crawl your way through those jam-packed six weeks. Maybe you didn’t end up with the grade you wanted or maybe that elective finally showed you that your major sucks. But regardless of the outcome, spending your summer furthering your education and growing was undoubtedly worthwhile. Here’s why.
Your Brain Hasn’t Turned to Mush
You might return home even paler than when you left, and if you’re anything like me, you’re wondering how that’s possible. But think of all the benefits you’ve reaped from being inside your little apartment or the library studying day-in, day-out. You spent six weeks essentially pumping brain-iron while your friends’ minds were turning to mush as they sat in their beach chairs. Well, guess who’s going to fall directly back into the rhythm of the school year come September? That’s right, it’s you. You may have missed out on a little summer, but in the long run when the school year rolls around, you’ll hit the ground sprinting.
You Made Connections
Summer courses allow you to meet people you wouldn’t normally during the school year. Summer courses are full of non-traditional students and students from other universities. By taking summer courses, you‘ll befriend some cool new people. This past summer I struck up an unlikely friendship with several classmates who attended my university, but who I’d never met before. And you won’t just connect with students: Since classes are smaller, professors are a lot more accessible—the perfect chance to make connections with someone who can help you out down the road.
You’re Now Miss Independent
Taking summer courses can be intimidating. Campus is nearly empty, your friends are all home and it’s easy to feel isolated. But this experience can make you more independent than the girl in that Ne-Yo song. This summer, I went from setting a Hot Pocket on fire in the microwave to cooking salmon to perfection. If I’d been home mooching off my parents all summer, there’s a slim chance this miracle would’ve taken place. Also, I took the initiative this summer to explore my college city. I navigated public transportation and maybe could’ve even passed for a local.
You Found a New Interest
During the school year, it’s easy to get sucked into the routine of just hammering out classes to fulfill your major without exploring much else. Maybe you hated that summer class you took, and that’s okay. You tried something and found out it wasn’t for you, which is perfectly fine. But maybe you decided to take a class just to fulfill a gen ed, and it ended up really interesting. For example, after ditching chem during the school year and taking an environmental science class this past summer, I realized I have a weird passion for rocks. Don’t question it.
It’s true—being enrolled in summer classes can take away that feeling of summertime. Even if it’s just for a few hours a week, your days still seem less carefree than your friends’ at home. With fall semester only weeks away, it’s the perfect time to reflect on your summer courses. Whether you sparked a new interest, made a faculty connection or gained enough independence to finally get your parents off your back, those summer classes were undoubtedly worthwhile.