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Introduction

The Myths of Summer Classes

The Myths of Summer Classes

I know, I know, we’re still not even done this semester. But it doesn’t hurt to think ahead: March 1st was the first day to officially enroll in summer classes. However, since I was busy with my two posts on POSts (which can be read here and here), I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to discuss summer school.

So, here I am to debunk the myths of summer classes.

A photo I took of Victoria College during summertime. Caption: Summer on-campus
Summer on-campus

MYTH: Summer classes are easier.

WHY THIS IS FALSE: While we usually associate “summer” with easy living, this isn’t always the case with summer courses. In fact, given the short length of the summer terms, classes tend to be accelerated: a half-year course, which normally runs for four-ish months, gets squeezed into around six weeks. In other words, be prepared to work fast! With this being said, much of this is course- and professor-dependent. But if you’re looking to get certain degree requirements out of the way, doing an accelerated version of a 100-level or 200-level class during the summertime could be a good strategy.

MYTH: Summer classes are only for people who’ve failed other courses.

WHY THIS IS FALSE: While I’m sure that this scenario could happen, it’s definitely not the norm. In my three (going onto four) years of taking summer classes, I’ve never met anyone who was retaking a class: most people are doing it to ease their course load in the fall and winter terms. And even if this was true, so what? There’s never anything wrong with wanting to improve your grades or trying out new learning strategies before the fall term rolls around.

A photo of a cherry tomato growing on the rooftop of Trinity College. Caption: Nothing reminds me of summer like a U of T tomato
Nothing reminds me of summer like a U of T tomato

MYTH: Summer classes are a waste of a summer.

WHY THIS IS FALSE: Based on my personal experience, summer classes have been both highly enjoyable and a useful addition to my regular academic year. Sure, it’s work, but so is a summer job. Sometimes we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.

Still don’t believe me? I’ve listed out some of the other benefits of summer classes for you to ponder over:

– trying to fulfill your breadth requirement? Summer classes are perfect for this.

– trying to fulfill your degree requirements and/or complete your 20 FCEs? No problem. For years, I’ve only been taking four classes per semester and making up for it by taking classes in the summertime. It’s been my strategy to avoid an overly hectic fall and winter.

– want to explore beyond your current Program(s) of Study and see what other fields are like? There’s a ton of variety offered over the summer, even if the university doesn’t offer every course. Last year, I took Introduction to Criminology (CRI205) and Introduction to Creative Writing (INI211) just for fun.

Flowers on the roof of Trinity College. Caption: Campus flowers
Campus flowers

– there are more experiential learning and fieldwork opportunities during the summer term. For example, the Anthropology Department only offers their Archaeological Field Methods (ARH306) during the summer. There’s also the Forestry Department’s Urban Forestry Camp (FOR418). Check your department’s listings!

These are just some of the pros to summer classes. It’s completely possible to have both a successful and fun summer. Check out the current Arts & Science timetable listings here, if I’ve managed to convince you!

Interested in other university “myths”? You can check out post on course-dropping myths here, and my post debunking the myth of the four-year degree here.

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