Should I Take Courses Over the Summers...

Should I Take Courses Over the Summers to Finish My Degree Sooner? A Look at Pros and Cons (French version available)

by Tiffany Chang
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Summer is a season that’s usually associated with taking a break and having fun. For university students, this could be the case, but it could also mean having a job or volunteer position. Some also continue taking courses to finish their degree sooner.

If you’re considering going back to the classroom over the summer, here’s a look at pros and cons of doing so:


Campuses Will Be Less Crowded

As one would expect, not as many students take classes over the summer, so your campus will most likely be much quieter than usual. This is beneficial if you prefer to work on assignments or study on campus rather than at home.

Many Students Tend to Take Fewer Classes During the Summer

Many students don’t take as many courses during the summer as they do in other semesters. Though it depends on how much is required of you for each course, if you take only one or two as opposed to the usual three or four, this means you might be able to relax more and solely focus on assignments. As a result, you may achieve a higher grade in the class(es) than if you were to take it another time.

However, by all means pursue a full course-load if you feel as though you’re ready for it.


You Could Feel Burnt Out During the Summer

Even though there’s a good chance that you’ll have a lighter academic workload over the summer, this could also lead to a burnout (or even more of a burnout) if you endured a very stressful school year. Taking classes might not allow you to receive the rest you need. Though it’s tempting to take courses to finish your degree sooner, it’s also critical that you don’t pressure yourself to do so if you know exhaustion/feeling overwhelmed remains an inevitable outcome. Often, people neglect their health to maintain a certain amount of productivity, which is highly discouraged.

It Would Take Time Away from Things You’re Pursuing in Your Personal Life

If there’s anything that you’re actively working on in your personal life, whether it be a project, relationships with others and/or your overall well-being, taking summer courses could interfere. Everyone’s situation is different, and maybe you’re able to juggle school with these other endeavours, but sometimes it’s best to just use the season for enjoyment.

Remember, you should take your health into account and what you can handle if you’re seriously considering taking summer courses. Some questions you could ask yourself are:

  • “How important is it to me that I finish my degree sooner?”
  • “Would it be better if I took my time to consider other options while I’m still a student, like pursuing work experience opportunities offered through school?” (if you haven’t done so already)
  • “Would it do me some good if I took the semester off?

Overall, if you continue to be honest with yourself and reflect on what’s stated above, you’ll be on the right track to making the best choice for what you’ll be doing during the summer.

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