How to Make the Most of Summer College Classes

The weather is heating up, and while some students are gearing up for beach trips and lazy days, others are diving headfirst into summer classes or pre-college summer programs. If you’re part of the latter group, you’re in the right place! Read on to find answers to your summer class questions and learn how to grab academics by the horns this summer semester.


What are Summer Classes? 

Summer classes are condensed academic courses colleges and universities offer during the summer months. They cover the same material as courses offered during standard semesters but are generally completed in less time. These courses allow students to catch up on missed courses, take classes for fun, or get ahead in their degree programs.


Precollege Summer Programs: The Summer Classes Before the Summer Classes

Precollege summer programs are a great option for soon-to-be college freshmen. Designed for high school students, these programs offer a taste of college life before official enrollment. The specifics of these programs vary by institution, but generally, they help students gear up for college by enabling them to explore different fields of study, build valuable study skills, and make new friends. As a bonus, attending a pre-college program can demonstrate your commitment to academic success and enhance your college application.


How Long is Summer School? 

The length of summer classes depends on your institution and the specific courses you are taking. Some last only a couple of weeks, while others span the entire summer session. However, college summer courses typically last anywhere from four to six weeks. Despite their short length, though, most summer classes are still full-fledged courses, so you can expect longer and more frequent class sessions. 


Why Take Summer Classes? 

Overall, taking a summer semester allows you to make the most of your summer break by staying productive and focused on your academic and professional goals. Here are some of the main reasons why students might want to take a summer course: 

  • To Get Back on Track: If you flunked a course or didn’t take enough credits in a given semester, summer classes allow you to retake classes or make up for missed credits. 
  • To Graduate Early: Summer courses can get pesky prerequisites out of the way so that you can dive into the nitty-gritty of your field sooner. Depending on how many summer classes you take, you could even graduate 6 months to a year sooner than your peers. 
  • To Take a Course for Fun: If there’s a class you really want to take but don’t have the time or bandwidth for during regular semesters, summer is the perfect semester to do so. 
  • To Focus on a Challenging Course: The summer semester grants the opportunity to focus on courses that would otherwise prove time-consuming or difficult. With fewer classes to attend, you can devote more time and energy to a singular course. 

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Classes

From pre-existing summer plans and a mostly vacated college campus to scaled-back resources and accelerated courseloads, summer classes can present some unique challenges. Here are five tips to overcome these obstacles and make the most of your summer courses: 

  1. Plan Ahead: Before enrolling in summer classes, take the time to research your options and select courses that align with your academic and career goals. Consider factors such as class size, professor choice, and scheduling flexibility. Once you are enrolled in the course, read your syllabus thoroughly and make notes of important due dates. Then, make sure to craft your summer plans around those major deadlines.  
  2. Stay Organized: Since summer courses are more condensed than those offered during regular semesters, it’s essential to stay on top of your assignments and deadlines. So a study space that looks like a tornado swept through a paper factory won’t cut it. Organize your study area, take the time to perform some desk management, and, most importantly, create a study schedule and stick to it.
  3. Form a Network: Though summer classes tend to be short-lived, building lasting relationships with your peers is equally as important as it would be during a standard semester. Do your best to make friends, participate in group study sessions, and collaborate on projects to enhance your learning experience and expand your network. 
  4. Use Your Resources: While on-campus resources may be limited during the summer semester, they’re not normally cut entirely. Utilize the resources that are still available to you, like the institution’s academic support center, library, and tutoring services, when needed. 
  5. Create a Great Study Space: If you’re living off campus and have roommates, you understand the struggle of keeping things tidy and finding a good place to study. If going to the library was your solution during the fall and spring semesters, know that some campus libraries have reduced hours during the summer. If that’s the case at your institution, you’ll want to create a home study zone. We recommend investing in comfortable furniture, pleasant lighting, and maybe even a Bluetooth speaker for some studying tunes.
  6. Don’t Skip Your ZZZZs: It’s summertime, and that means long days and warm evenings out with friends…right? Well, you’re still taking classes, so it’s important to prioritize getting a good night’s sleep every night. That can be tough if your friends aren’t taking classes and want to hang out, but with the right bedroom setup and a comfy mattress, getting plenty of sleep is a lot easier.

Need a Cool Study Space For Those Hot Summer Classes? 

CORT Furniture Rental is a great way to cover your off-campus housing needs, including through the summer. You can rent everything from living room furniture down to the sheets and linens for your bedroom.

Simply pick your student furniture package,  your delivery date, and leave the logistics to us! Our team will deliver and set up your furniture, so you can focus on the important things, like scoring a parking spot on campus. Check out CORT Furniture Rental student packages today!

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