5 Reasons to Take College Courses in the Summer

by JT McGee

Dear future college students,

Take summer classes.

If you’re anything like me, you get bored with the mindless repetitive, tune out your professors to ponder the effects of the Fed’s next meeting, and daydream of a day when school will no longer appear on your calendar. College is a blast, but it gets old.

Summer classes are the only solace. Here’s why summer classes should be on your to-do list:

  1. They’re shorter – Five weeks of 3-hour classes 3 days a week beats the ever living hell out of 16 weeks of 3-5 days of class. Sure, my ADD catches me by the second hour, but there’s something to be said for covering a week of material in a single day.
  2. Showing up is easier – When you can’t miss a class, it’s easier to get to class. I failed a chemistry class with an A due to attendance; that wouldn’t have happened in the summer.
  3. They’re cheap(er) – My school has a buy-one-get-one half-off deal. Good stuff when you pay cash for school; even better if you’re borrowing.
  4. Classmates are motivated – The people in summer classes want to get the hell out of school and work. It’s an improvement over the lazy bums that go to 16-week classes.
  5. Boredom-B-Gone – It took everything in my power to stay awake in my intro finance class over 16 weeks. Since summer classes are action packed (four tests plus a midterm and a final in 5 weeks), there’s no time to get bored with the material in any given chapter. Just remind yourself new content is coming the next day.

If I could go back in time, I would have gone full-time during a traditional 16 week semester and full time in the summer, basically rotating my summer vacation to either spring or fall. Some classes don’t need 16 weeks of instruction, and I’d be much happier cramming them into 4-5 weeks. Plus, at a discount of 25-50% for summer classes, college goes from ridiculously expensive to simply expensive.

Only caveat: summer is for the classes that you know you can ace.

Take it from a guy who has plenty of “if I could do it over…” experiences with school; summer school is awesome.

Did you take any classes in the summer? If so, please share your experience. Future college students would surely love any and all input.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon June 16, 2013 at 20:54

Great post, JT.

I worked full-time during the summer to pay for school so I did not get the chance to take a summer class. My fraternity brothers did, but I think they just wanted to stay in the house all summer!

You must be bored in school – you have a great understanding of finance. Is that your major? Anyway, keep it up. Graduation will come quickly so enjoy college while you can.


cardsfan June 17, 2013 at 07:32

I took electives in the summer after my junior year while I worked as an intern in accounting. If you can take easy classes and intern at the same time then you should do it. New grads do not understand how important it is to land an internship before graduation.


Bill June 17, 2013 at 13:49

I enrolled in summer classes my senior year so I could graduate in four years. My experience was good. I saved some money, got to know some of the professors really well in a small classroom setting, and my employer thought that taking fast paced summer classes showed my work ethic.

I too wish that I had enrolled in summer classes earlier in my college career. I wish you the best after graduation!


Kayla June 17, 2013 at 18:26

I took summer classes and hated it… probably because it was SUMMER!!! 😉 As well, my school only offered certain classes over the summer so I wasn’t able to take a full timetable because the majority of the classes I wanted to take I couldn’t; ALSO, they would cancel a class if there weren’t enough people enrolled into it (which was the case a lot of the time since summer school isn’t very popular around here). The one summer I hated was the one where I had a class at 8:00 am, and then a class at 6:00 pm, 3 days a week, with nothing in between. It made it frustrating to try and schedule work shifts those 3 days… I COULD HAVE worked from 11 – 5, but my managers already had that time covered. :\


Felix Lee June 23, 2013 at 09:27

This is one thing I regret not doing when I was in college. I now advice my younger siblings to take summer classes for several advantages like those you wrote here.


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