I am one who often dreads summer. While I cannot deny I appreciate the absolute freedom that comes with being released from academic duties for a brief moment of time, I usually grow to resent the respite. After all, I am someone who constantly needs her mind to be engaged, else I am likely to go crazy with boredom. While I do usually find creative outlets to channel this energy in the void of classes, I've found that there is something much more helpful and necessary to individuals like me during break: summer classes.
Think about it. Taking summer classes would keep your mind engaged and would also happen to knock off a few requirements from your degree audit—and we all know that everyone loves to see that hateful pie turn even more green. Your mind is engaged and you are fulfilling a requirement; it's a win-win situation. For someone who is on the pre-med track with an added minor, and is part of the Honors College, I happen to be very invested in the businesses of knocking off requirements. And so summer classes are very appealing to me, as they should be to anyone who is invested in finishing their degree on time.
Summer classes also are, in their nature, much shorter than regular classes. And shorter classes in a shorter time frame are always advantageous. Yes, many individuals cite these classes, including those offered during winter break, as being harder in nature because they are bound to be fast-paced, but honestly, if you're only taking one summer class, then your entire focus would naturally be on that class, not on five different ones as is the case in a regular semester. Because you are only focusing on one very intensely, or even two, if you're feeling ambitious, you are bound to be able to focus your attention on only them, and succeed.
Summer classes also help to stay in the mode of studying. We all fall victim to the impact of a break from academics, and this definitely reveals itself when we get those first few tests back during fall semester; we often forget how to study, and are always, always surprised by the intensity of classes in the fall semester because we have, and this is the harsh truth, forgotten how to study. Summer classes would allow us to break from that tradition, because a respite isn't what the mind is given, and so we continue to stay in that study mode.
And need I even mention the best part of summer classes: summer classes could allow you to graduate early. While graduating early shouldn't be the goal, it could definitely help in saving you money and time, and people are often looking for this without even realizing it. Summer classes could help in fulfilling this.
Additionally, when summer classes are in-person, you are even more likely to develop a relationship with your professor that could not be possible in a lecture room of 300 individuals. This could help in attaining letters of recommendation, as summer classes' professors would tend to know you as a student better than regular-semester class professors.
Summer classes are a dedication, and they may seem unappealing because you enjoy the respite from academics, but their advantages should not be overlooked. They offer a wealth of advantages, and of course, knowledge. They keep your mind in shape and they make your degree audit happy; what's not to love?