May 26 marks the beginning of summer classes, meaning many students are back to the grind of schoolwork after less than a month of a summer reprieve.
Though taking summer classes can add work to an otherwise relaxing summer, many Aggies say that summer coursework can be beneficial in the long run with the right amount of effort.
Students enroll in summer courses for a variety of reasons, ranging from early graduation aspirations, avoiding crowded core curriculum courses, to retaking failed classes. University studies senior Matthew Cline said he is taking summer classes in order to take fewer hours in the fall and spring.
“I feel that summer classes are a good way to get extra classes out of the way and you get to reap the reward of having a very limited amount of people on campus during the summer,” Cline said. “The benefit is that you are able to spend less time taking the class but still earn the credit for the class and this allows you to take more advanced classes in the regular semesters.”
Since the summer feels more lax, particularly with all classes being online, university studies sophomore Emily Burns said the key to success and staying motivated is to be organized.
“Falling behind is going to cause a lot of unnecessary stress and because they’re all online this summer it makes it harder to focus with a lack of visible structure,” Burns said. “I also find maintaining a schedule Monday through Friday helps to emulate the school year feeling and makes the classwork routine and a part of everyday activities.”
According to technology management senior Alfredo Alvarez, being ahead of schedule and working hard can help ensure productivity over the summer.
“The best tip for taking summer classes is to do your best to complete assignments ahead of time,” Alvarez said. “Try your best to obtain good grades in your classes because if you’re taking classes from your institution, it can be a GPA booster.”
However, with a semester of coursework packed into five weeks, as well as instruction being online due to the coronavirus, Burns said students should prepare for increased difficulties.
“They can be challenging and require a lot of work especially if you’re taking a writing based course like English 210,” Burns said. “All summer classes are online and we are not getting the same cushion we got in the spring semester where we were able to change our grade type. These are courses designed specifically to fit a semester’s worth of material in a few weeks and they must be taken seriously.”
While Burns said the prospect of fast-paced summer classes may seem daunting, students can still utilize online resources such as the study and learning handouts offered by the Academic Success Center throughout the summer to help them succeed in every course. Students can still register for Summer II courses through June 29.
“Since the class gets condensed then it goes by a lot faster but the professors do a good job at making the course load manageable and not overwhelming,” Burns said. “Don’t be scared of taking summer classes. They sound scary and overwhelming but any Texas A&M student is capable of taking one and getting a good grade with hard work. They’re definitely worth it.”