Print Edition: May 6, 2015
Since coming back to UFV full-time in 2012, this is the first time I’m not taking classes over summer semester. While part of the reason I chose to take a break is due to a lack of available classes (something that is often a struggle for those of us inching towards graduation), the other reason is the overwhelming sensation of student burnout.
I have always taken summer semester so I could get a few more classes out of the way and work towards the eventual goal of graduation. Summer semester is great for those who are trying to graduate in less than the traditional four years. It is also great if you enjoy classes with lots of field trips and outside time! Some of my favourite classes have been ones offered during the summer — everyone seems to be in a better mood. My theory is that this is because, for once, it’s not impossible to find a parking space on campus.
This past semester was a challenging one for me. I had zero motivation and could really care less about school. The semester prior, I had most of my assignments done before their due dates (cue the #nerd tag) and comprehensive study notes for my midterms and finals. This winter, I found myself looking at my syllabus, wondering what I could avoid doing based on what percentage of my final mark that particular assignment made up.
Since I am so close to the end of my degree, I can finally start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can also see a giant student loan payment waiting for me on the other side, which is slightly terrifying. Taking this summer off from school has allowed me to find a full-time job, so I can pay down my bills; then by the time next April rolls around, all I will have is one giant loan payment to worry about. Getting rid of some financial stress will help me cope with the stress of school in the fall, guaranteed.
Everyone is different, and there is no way I can give a definitive yes or no to the age-old question: “Summer semester — should I, or shouldn’t I?” What I can say is that if you are feeling burnt out or unmotivated, then it’s probably a sign that it’s time to slow it down and give yourself a break. If you are on a roll and are super pumped for your upcoming classes, then definitely take classes over the summer. There’s nothing better than being excited about school; there’s a reason I’ve taken my sweet time to graduate!