In my first year of university, I took 6.0 FCEs. It worked out surprisingly well for me, but it is clear to me now in retrospect that I should have calmed down a little bit and taken fewer courses; by the end of that year, I was almost completely burned out.
That did not stop me from doing a course overload in the summer session, however.
You have to appeal to your registrar to get permission to take more than 2.0 FCEs in the summer. Limits at U of T on which courses you can take and how many may feel arbitrary but are in place to protect people from making a terrible decision, like that time in second year I tried to take twelve half-courses in the first semester and none in the second.
I successfully appealed to take 3.0 FCEs in the summer. I thought that, even though summer courses tend to be more intense (since classroom hours are doubled and the rapidity with which you must learn is also doubled), I was going to be able to handle it.
The truth is, I wasn’t.
There were probably many factors that contributed to that train-wreck of a semester, such as general burnout, an unrealistic school load, my full-time summer job, untreated depression, and so on. I’m sure a 3.0 FCE summer session is possible, with enough support and dedication.
Now that the summer session is coming up and registration is starting soon, if you are going to be taking summer courses, you should make sure to do so in moderation. This summer session I’m going to be taking just one course, to get an edge on my degree and also keep up with study habits so I don’t need to build them up again in September.