Summer classes beat sleeping in every day

By Brenda Krause

Summer has officially arrived, and many students have already taken advantage of the warmer temperature and longer daylight.

Indeed, it is time for lounging by the pool, cooking on the grill and breaking out the aloe vera for those inevitable sun burns. For some students it also means buckling down and, unfortunately, waking up a little earlier than desired.

Yes, I am referring to summer school. It’s surprising how many NIU students opt to tackle a full summer class load.

It was certainly a shock to see the parking garage full on the first day of class.

Although they are not getting as much time off as their peers, these hard-working students feel it is a fair trade off.

“It makes getting a degree quicker and allows for the chance to take other courses during the regular school year,” said Kailtin Cabral, sophomore visual communications major.

The summer semester is half as long as a regular semester, which means there are only eight weeks of classes rather than sixteen. Thus the speed of the classes is much faster paced.

This can work to the advantage of students who need to retake a class or still need to get those dreaded general education classes out of the way. The class sizes are much smaller in the summer school setting, too.

I always prefer to be able to converse with my professors and have them actually remember who I am. The tight-knit classroom environment is also reassuring and takes a bit of pressure off. (Especially for those scary speech classes, hint, hint.)

Another advantage to taking summer courses is being able to have some more flexibility with your busy schedule during the regular school year.

Why not get that wretched math class out of the way in the summer? It is one less class you will need to take in the fall, and you will be able to fill your schedule with courses you’re more enthusiastic about.

Besides, it’s also nice to have a little cushion and options when it comes to registering for fall and spring classes.

Spending extra time driving to and from campus, or even living on campus for the summer, can seem like a drag; however, there are actually several exciting events planned, throughout the university and out in the DeKalb community.

And just think, if it weren’t for making the decision to be more productive this summer, you could’ve missed out.

Check out the NIU website for a listing of campus and community-wide events. There’s always something going on in DeKalb and around campus.

As a “super senior,” I plan on graduating this upcoming spring. This means I have taken on a full load of six credit hours this summer. In fact, I have actually taken summer courses throughout my entire college career, and honestly, doing so has always turned out to be a great experience. Sure, you may be giving up some extra sleep time, but to me, the pros outweigh the cons. I encourage all NIU students to push themselves just a little harder this summer.

It doesn’t hurt to keep your mind sharp, and I guarantee you will still have plenty of time for fun in the sun.