Last summer, I took two college courses. One was a five-week class where we could watch movies to learn more about pop culture and the media’s influence on our understanding of college. The other class was an eight-week class that served as a gen-ed requirement.
Overall, I was glad I could do both of these courses remotely. I stayed in my hometown and worked part-time in a seasonal position while I plowed through the courses’ readings, lectures, and projects.
Unlike 16-week courses where the material is spread out over the semester, summer courses really pack in the materials in a short amount of time. Even for the eight-week course, I spent a lot of time reading through numerous articles for class and speeding through the lectures. It was definitely a challenge working part-time and balancing such a heavy workload. Sometimes, if I didn’t have a busy day, I would bring my readings to read through during a slow period.
The five-week course also offered some challenges. Each week, we were given a prompt to answer questions. We had to record a presentation of our analyses of the media or pop culture materials we reviewed. Yet again, this was very time consuming and I had to plan and use my time wisely (which is doubly hard when your brain is on a summer schedule!).
Thankfully, I made it through the summer without losing too much of my sanity. I appreciated that I had the opportunity to get a couple courses out of the way so that I could take other major-related courses during the spring and fall semesters.
In general, I would recommend taking summer courses. I really wanted to make the most of my years in college and tried to round out my major with two minors and a certificate. Therefore, summer courses had the potential to make my course loads during the fall and spring semesters bearable.
However, I would ultimately suggest that if you can make it work financially and keep up with a summer job (or internships, volunteering, etc.) then summer courses are for you!