I’ve been taking summer courses throughout my program. I noticed that I am motivated and well-focused when I take summer courses. Why is that? It’s the summer, how could I even think about school?
I started taking summer courses after my first year because I found that when I’m enrolled in a full course load I get overwhelmed easily and I experience burnout quickly. So, I would usually take less courses during the fall/winter term and would take one or two courses in the summer. This works better with my learning disability; I can focus better when taking a reduced course load during the normal year and catch up during the summer.
Summer courses are fast-paced as they only run for two months. You’d think this would make classes harder but I notice the syllabi are set differently to accommodate the accelerated term. Professors also hold different expectations for summer classes; I find them more lenient during the summer and have demands for tests and assignments that aren’t as harsh as the normal school year.
Another part of what makes summer courses more enjoyable is the weather; if you know anything about Canadian weather, the winters get long and those gorgeous but sporadic days of sunny weather are numbered. Canadian summer in Toronto is pretty consistent and attending school under beautiful weather naturally boosts my motivation. I recall attending lectures in-person or online and I’d go for a nice walk or study outside in between classes. Good weather allows me more balance between work and play as it’s easier to go outside and I can bring my homework to places like the beach (which I’ve certainly done) before!
Summer school isn’t for everyone and doing well or enjoying summer classes depends on a person’s learning style, needs, and lifestyle. Although I think it’s worth trying at least one summer course. U of T summer courses are charged per course instead of a big tuition for the whole session. If you will be in Toronto for the summer or there’s an online course available in your program then there’s no harm in giving it a try!