Summer Classes Suck


You’re probably not reading this. If you’re one of the few students here for summer classes, you’re likely already upset you’re forgoing vacation time. Picking up a Jambar might not be your first priority. And we don’t blame you, summer classes seem designed to increase inconvenience.

First off, you probably had to pay out of pocket, because financial aid isn’t that generous if you’re not a full-time student, and only about 400 of the nearly 4,000 students enrolled in the summer are full-time students. If you’re receiving Pell grants, you only get a quarter of the full amount for a single class. So now you, a student that’s struggling financially, have to come up with several hundred dollars in an attempt to graduate faster.

Then you have to attempt to cram an entire semester’s worth of learning into six weeks. Sure, you’re here more often, so you can get it done. But some classes, like foreign languages, require practice. You can obviously practice more in 15 weeks than you can in six.

Maybe you’re taking an internship and need to explain to your employer why he’s filling out an evaluation after six weeks when you’re still going to be there into August.

Teachers frequently fail to readjust their lesson plans, they just condense their existing ones to fit the shorter semester. We understand. They don’t want to be here any more than we do. After the last union contract, they’re getting paid even less than they used to.

Also, most upper-level classes aren’t offered during the summer. The class schedule primarily consists of general education classes. So if you took your gen eds during your first year or two and are hoping to graduate sooner by taking a few summer classes, it’s probably not going to work.

If by some miracle the class you need is offered, there’s still a chance it’ll get dropped because of low enrollment. One student told us they received an email informing them the class was cancelled while they were sitting in the classroom. This is always the case—that classes will be cancelled, regardless of the semester they’re offered—but the stakes are higher in summer because there are fewer classes to fall back on.

Okay, so you dodged all those obstacles and are enrolled in a summer class. I hope you weren’t planning on enjoying the perks of campus life. Despite the increased emphasis on improving the student experience, it’s non-existent in the summer. Most of the places to eat are closed or close early. If you have an afternoon class and are hoping to grab some coffee to get you through, you’re going to have to walk down to Pressed. Dunkin’ closes at 12:30.

Extending the hours of eating establishments might make students more comfortable, but there are costs to consider. What if instead of two six-week semesters, we adopted one that ran for 12 weeks?

In the meantime, we’ll bear down and get through it. If you don’t find the time to read your friendly campus newspaper, we forgive you. But if you do, we hope it helps you get through, we understand things are not ideal.