Would Summer Be a Good Time to Get Ahead on Your College Credits?
Looking at summer as your reprieve from being a full-time, hardworking college student? While you may have had a challenging semester of difficult classes, gaining perspective on what summer brings is important. A round of summer classes could help you advance in your college career.
If you're feeling ambitious but having trouble deciding what to do, look to this blog for some pros and cons to answer the question of whether summer is a good time to get ahead on your college credits.
Side Note: Rest assured that whatever you decide, either decision is the right one. There's nothing wrong with wanting to take a break from college courses, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to get ahead on your college credits.
When you rack up college credits, you put in the work you need to complete whatever degree you pursue. Summer could be a good time to work on electives or even difficult classes because the courses are smaller and more selective. Dedicating your time to credits over the summer could lead you to faster graduation from college.
Faster graduation from college means more time to gain experience in your preferred career field. Keep your focus on your future!
- Retake or Place More Focus on a Difficult Class.
If you've failed a specific college course over regular semesters, then summer could be the time to focus more on that course. The same could be said for the college courses that you could be avoiding because of their difficulty.
You don't have to take a full courseload over the summer. Focusing on one difficult class could be beneficial and make your time at college easier. Without those difficult classes weighing you down, you could zoom through courses that interest you and actually hold weight in your preferred degree.
- Get Prerequisite Courses Out of the Way.
Summer is a good time to knock down those prerequisite classes that could be viewed as time wasters. Get the refreshers out of the way, so you have other semesters to focus on credits that go towards the successful completion of your specific degree.
Most of the time, prerequisite college classes include English and mathematics courses. Taking one or two of these through the summer could give you more time to focus on easier, more interesting degree-oriented classes across other semesters.
- Lean into the College Experience Slowly.
New to college life? You don't have to rush into full semesters with comprehensive courseloads. Use summer break to lean into the college experience with smaller, focused classes. It will give you a taste of what to expect without bombarding you with the chaos of a regular semester.
Leaning into the college experience slowly is especially great for older students that may have joined the workforce out of high school. It's not easy to put yourself into a new situation or to switch career fields, so easing into college courses could help you better adjust to modern expectations in a class environment.
- Smaller Classes with More Focused Teacher Attention.
Depending on where you go to college, chances are that routine semester classes are either mid-size or huge. This means you may not get the focused attention you need to learn and succeed in that class. Summer courses are often smaller and more attentive, focusing more on teacher and student interactions that could help you pass the course.
- Classes May Be Shorter and Have Stricter Expectations.
One downside to summer courses is that they are shorter, so information is condensed into anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. This means stricter, higher expectations and more homework from professors. They have a deadline to meet, and so do you!
Solution? Buckle down and put in the hard work to succeed! Summer is a good chance for you to get ahead in your academics, so shorter; stricter classes could be a challenge you meet head-on!
- Available Courses are Limited.
Some college courses are offered through interest and necessity. Ergo, if there's a lack of summer interests or a professor decides to do something else over the summer, that course may be off the class list. Courses are limited for summertime, so it's considered a part-time venture for most students.
Solution? Choose classes that you either absolutely need or hold an interest in for your limited summer courseload. There are likely plenty of electives, plus a few difficult core classes that you could use to further your education across a summer.
- May Be an Out-of-Pocket Expense.
Some scholarship and grant guidelines may limit funds through summer breaks. Ergo, some college courses, especially electives that wouldn't count toward your degree, would be an out-of-pocket expense. That could be hundreds of dollars of your own money to get ahead in your academic future.
Solution? Plan ahead or work a part-time summer job to afford a college course or two. If you anticipate taking summer college classes, then you can work to save money towards those expenses before summer rolls around.
- Less Time for Extracurricular Fun or Summer Events.
One of the biggest drawbacks of taking summer college classes is the lack of time to do anything else that you may enjoy over the break. College courses through the summer are more compact and comprehensive, which means more focused dedication on your part. That may mean less time for fun and focus on other activities you would typically love to do over the summer.
Solution? Organize a better schedule to allow yourself free time to do what you love while also working on academics through the summer. You can still have loads of fun – it just may take more planning to work around a college class schedule.
Remember the days when summer signaled relaxation, a chance to unwind with lemonade, and fun times with friends? The same could still be said for your summers as a college student, but it could also be a good idea to further your education with a few college credits this summer. Ultimately, you're sure to make the right decision after weighing the aforementioned pros and cons.