If you’re considering undertaking summer session good on you!
I completed my first summer session this year (2017 to 2018 summer) and when I was considering whether or not I should do it, there was no one who was really able to give me any point of reference. So I figured for those of you in a similar position, I’d try and give you a rundown of what to expect.
Decide why you want to do it
The reason I decided to undertake a summer semester was a unique one. In my first year of university I was studying a double degree of Business and IT, by the end of the year I decided to drop to a single Business degree. This brought up one main problem, since I hadn’t completed the prerequisite to start my major yet (which is usually done in the first year by single degree students), I would have to wait until the 2018 Spring Session. So I decided to do that course over summer which allowed me to start my major in the Autumn Session along with my friends.
Common reasons I found my classmates taking a summer session were:
- “I want to fast track my degree”
- “I failed this subject last year”
- “I just wanted to get this one out the way”
- “I had nothing better to do in my break”
Figure out why you want to do it because even though you may only be doing one or two subjects in the summer period, it’s a condensed time frame making the course an intensive. Be wary of this, so you should have a good reason to keep you going.
The benefits and drawbacks of doing Summer Session
Even though you are giving up a major part of your summer, there are many reasons as to why this could be beneficial to you.
- It keeps you sticking to a routine – 5-months is a long break, most students struggle readjusting back to uni life once they come back in Autumn, but not you.
- Shorter classes – summer courses run at a very accelerated pace, meaning you can get them over and done with a lot faster. In my experience instead of having one tutorial and lecture a week, I would have two of each per week.
Some drawbacks of undertaking a summer semester could involve:
- Less downtime – this can be expected, given you are giving up a big part of your summer to continue to study, you will find you won’t have as much free time as you would like during the summer.
- Shorter classes – though this can also be a pro, shorter classes also means less time to review and consolidate your learning. It can be overwhelming if not handled correctly because deadlines can really creep up on you.
You still get some form of break (don’t worry!)
Even though the summer session really feeds into your break, you still get a solid amount of time off. My exams from my spring semester finished in early November and my summer semester didn’t start til early December that gave me a month to recharge.
Then shortly after we started, we had our STUVAC over the holiday season for two weeks. During these two weeks I spent 5 days in Melbourne with my extended family for Christmas, and then I spent 5 days in Byron Bay for a music festival over New Year’s.
You get plenty of time off.
The only really annoying thing is when you have your exam and then your Autumn Session starts like 10 days later, well at least that’s what happened to me. But overall, really not a huge issue.