Maximizing Your Courses: Spring and Summer

Sarah NantaisBlogs

About the Author
Sarah Nantais

Sarah Nantais

Sarah Nantais is a Virtual Help Desk Navigator at Campus Manitoba. She contributes to "The Navigator," our monthly blog focused on student life.

It’s almost here: the light at the end of the tunnel. April is creeping up on us and that means a rush of final exams while stressing out about whether or not we’ve read all the chapters we were supposed to. Being a student can be exhausting which is why most can’t wait for April to be done for four months of freedom! Now it’s time to put a little thought in your mind: what about Spring and Summer courses?

Now stop rolling your eyes and sighing at us. We know you value your break but we just want you to think about it. Believe it or not there are some benefits to taking courses during the spring and summer break. There are always two sides to the coin, however, so we’re going to lay out all the information we can for both. This way you can make an informed decision. You’re welcome.

Intersession For The Win!

Excited woman with her thumbs up

This is Amazing!

Intersession is different than traditional fall and winter terms. It’s shorter than your traditional semester. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. Spring and summer courses are condensed versions of what you would take during the year. Sometimes this means a bigger emphasis on tests and memorization. Sometimes this means more conversation. Just as each instructor is different, so are their classes.

So where’s the good news, you ask? Check out these top pros in favour of intersession:

  • Instead of 4-5 courses in a term you can take 1-2.
  • Intersession classes are typically smaller. This means you can get to know your fellow students and your instructor on a more personal level.
  • If you don’t have time for face-to-face, you could consider online courses as well. Easy to work around.
  • By taking extra courses when you don’t have to you can lighten your course load throughout the year.
  • Think big picture: you might just graduate a little bit faster than if you only took courses in Fall and Winter.
  • Less courses = Less stress

Taking courses during this time doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything else. You’ll still have time to work and play because you’re only taking one or two courses. Think about it: if you take two courses that are once a week, you’re only in class for two days. That still frees up a lot of your precious break for fun, games and maybe some money-making.

We promised you two sides, though, so we’ll deliver!

 All Work and No Play?

Thoughtful young man looking out a window.

Just ponder for a bit

If you’re looking for more reasons not to take courses during your precious break time, we’ve got that argument for you as well. Not everyone can attend school without a nice solid break in there. That’s okay. Everyone learns differently after all!

  • We mentioned it before, but we’ll say it again: no big break between terms.
  • 8 months is already long. Adding another 2-4 months on top seems painful.
  • Those classes aren’t going to pay for themselves. Tuition still needs to be paid.
  • More money being spent may mean more student loans. There’s more than just tuition. We’re talking rent, food and perhaps a sliver of fun.
  • You’ll be spending a considerable amount of great weather days inside.
  • Potential loss of interest in what you’re learning.

All brains learn differently. There are some people who just want to power through school and get their piece of paper and gallivant into the realm of adulthood.  Some people just need to have that nice break between terms to recharge their batteries and their minds. If you can commit to taking even just one class through intersession you might thank yourself for it. No one says you have to take classes during spring and summer. One is often enough to make a difference. Pay attention to what’s being offered.

No one should force you to take classes if you don’t want to. The important thing to take away from this is that classes do continue throughout the spring and summer. When yours truly was a student I didn’t discover intersession until my third year. I found that by taking just one course in the summer I was able to pay more attention because I was truly interested in it. It also allowed me to narrow my focus: one course instead of four. Spring and Summer was when I was able to get my best marks.

It’s your decision and it’s your academic life. Trying speaking with your advisor or connecting with student services to get their take on it if you’re on the fence. It may be a hard decision to make, but then again, this is all part of growing up.

About “The Navigator”

“The Navigator” is a monthly blog about student life by the Campus Manitoba Virtual Help Desk. Check back monthly to find more tidbits of wisdom with “The Navigator”. You’ll be sure to find all kinds of information that will help you be successful in your educational journey. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more news and information!