To all who take the occasional college course: If you like to learn all year long, if short-term, concentrated courses fit your learning style, if you have too much free time in the summer and if you just want to hurry up and graduate, you could do worse than to take some summer courses. Here are a few reasons to consider it for future summers.
1. Summer classes offer better chances of fitting a work schedule. It’s a lot easier to juggle a part-time job with a summer class or two than with a handful of fall/spring classes scattered throughout the day. Summer courses allow you to keep a fairly consistent schedule Monday through Friday, where fall/spring terms might require something different every day of the week. Participating in Southern Virginia’s new online classes makes this even more manageable.
2. Summer classes speed things up. Because both required and elective courses are available during the summer, you could shave a semester or two off your graduation timeline. This could mean that you earn an entire year to live your post-graduation dreams while your peers are studying for final exams. Think about it. But don’t rub it in your friends’ faces, because that would be mean.
3. Summer classes speed things up. Yes, these are the same words I used before, but summer classes have a shorter duration than fall/spring courses. If you’re the kind of learner who thrives on focused, short-term study, these courses will fit you like a glove. Maybe that’s a bad simile for summer. Summer classes will fit you like a whitewater rafting life-jacket.
4. Some courses are only offered in summer terms. Take Dr. Cluff’s “How to Read a Film” course as an example. A typical day in this class includes watching, analyzing and discussing an entire film in the same sitting. A course like this could only meet once a week without barring students from other important courses during a regular semester. During the summer, on the other hand, it can meet several times a week for 2-3 hours at a time.
5. “Topics: World of Harry Potter.” You can literally get credit to study and write about your favorite character in Harry Potter.
6. Campus is beautiful in the summer. Yes, it’s also beautiful in autumn and spring, but if you want to watch the fireflies illuminate all of Chandler Field on a June evening, you have to be here in June.
7. Summer classes don’t stop summer from happening. The same year that I took my first two summer classes, I went on a 5000 mile road trip, worked two new jobs, performed in a musical theatre production, made several close new friends, went on a first-date with the woman who would later marry me, AND still got to sleep in.
Long story short? Even with summer classes, it can still feel like summer.
(Post by Stephen Taylor ’15. Video by Bronwyn Himes ’17. Photo by Jonathan McBride.)