After the final exams, essays, and end-of-the-year projects are completed, most students pack up their school books and high-tail it out of town for the summer. But after the parking lot clears and the dust settles, a small remainder of students can still be seen wandering the campus. No, they’re not lost. They’re summer students.
It’s a strange breed, people who willingly endure more schooling when most of their peers are far away enjoying the summer with other normal people. Why would someone do such a thing? Are they crazy?
Sometimes it seems that way. In Summer Session I, which goes from the beginning of May to the end of June, a course that normally runs for four months has to be crammed into two. That’s why classes usually last for up to three hours, sometimes four days a week. It can be quite intense. Expect to dive into the meat of the course material early on, and be prepared for mid-terms and assignments to fly at you almost immediately. There is no room for procrastination!
That said, I’ve taken summer courses every summer that I’ve been here, and I will probably take more next summer. No, I’m not a masochist. There are actually a few good reasons to enrol in Summer Session:
Summer Session is a great way to get ahead in your programs (for all you keeners out there who want to graduate early), OR it can allow you to ease your fall/spring course load and still keep up. If you work a lot during the fall/spring, you may have trouble keeping up with a full five courses. What I tend to do is take less courses in the fall/spring (ie, four) and then do a course or two in the summer to make up for it. It makes a big difference in not spreading yourself too thin. You can spread it out even further by looking at Summer Session II which runs in July and August.
Some classes only run in the summer too, so check out the course selection! Staying for Summer Session may be the only chance you get for some really cool classes, some of which are fun and outdoorsy. Here’s a link to the Summer 2011 Timetable to give you an example: http://www.uleth.ca/ross/timetable/timetable_201102.htm.
Remember though, if you’re a first-time university student (ie, just graduated from High School), you have to wait until you’ve completed your first year of university before you can enrol in Summer Session! If that’s the case, do keep it in mind for next year!
If you’re up to the challenge, Summer Session can be a blast.