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Top 10 reasons to not take a summer session class

Even if you qualify for a free summer course, you might want to take a pass — and that’s okay

<p>Summer classes are available but it might be worth spending the summer relaxing and taking it slow.</p>

Summer classes are available but it might be worth spending the summer relaxing and taking it slow.

 1. You want to enjoy summer

With many students having already received or scheduled an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine, some of us are looking forward to safe summer plans such as seeing family members and friends who are also vaccinated. With the weather getting warmer, there are plenty of opportunities to go outdoors and enjoy the season. Taking a summer class can get in the way of these fun activities. It’s not as fun to go on a walk outside when you know you have to study when you get home. 

2. You already took a J-Term class

Many of us jumped at the opportunity to take the free January Term class we were offered earlier this year. That means lots of us already have an extra three credits on our transcript and have possibly gotten ahead on completing requirements for our major or school. If anything, J-Term classes taught us how hard it can be to stare at a Zoom screen for more than two hours straight every day. If you took a J-Term class, you have definitely already gone above and beyond this year in terms of academics, so it may be time to rest until August. 

3. All the free options are full

Even if you wanted to take a Summer Session class — whether it be to fulfill a requirement or purely for fun — many of the free options are already full. There’s a chance you’ll get off the waitlist or more seats will be added, but full classes are a great excuse if you were already on the fence about spending a portion of your break doing more work. 

4. There are other opportunities

While taking an extra class over the summer can be really helpful, there are also many other great ways to spend your summer. There are lots of internships that can offer school credit or — better yet — financial compensation. This summer, the Career Center is doing the Hoos Internship Accelerator program where you can apply to internships and receive a stipend while gaining valuable experience. You can also work part-time during the summer to save up for textbooks or outings with your friends next semester. 

5. You had a hard semester or year

The first fully COVID-19 academic year has been hard on everybody. Many of us have also had packed semesters with some of the hardest classes of our majors. From waking up early for prevalence testing to staying up late to finish that one paper, many of us have had a draining semester. Taking another class during summer could just prolong this experience as well as take away vital time to recharge. 

6. You’re already on track with your requirements

While taking a class during the summer can help fulfill some of your requirements, you may not need to take it during the summer. When looking at what requirements are left for your major and school, you might find that you have plenty of space to get them done before you graduate. While taking the class could free up a future schedule, it may not be worth it to cram in another class during a break. 

7. None of the classes are interesting

What’s the point in spending part of your summer in class if you are not even interested in what you are learning about? While there are some great options for courses to take, the only ones that fit your schedule may not be interesting at all. If you do not feel excited about taking the class, it may be important to ask yourself if the time, effort and possible materials you’ll need are worth it — even if the class is free. 

8. You don’t want to rush an important requirement

While first writing requirement courses are being offered this summer, it may be more valuable for you to take a semester to really hone your writing skills and enjoy the large range of options offered in the fall. It would also not help to take such a hard requirement as an accelerated course, when there is less time to learn everything and study. It may be better to take these courses when you have an easier semester. 

9. Learning from home is difficult

Many of us have learned over the course of the pandemic that working from home isn’t always ideal. Some of us will not have enough office space, broadband or quiet places for online classes this summer. With dorm residents not knowing if they can use the building during the summer and many off-Grounds students already subletting their apartments, taking a summer course means having to learn at home without access to on-Grounds resources. If you had trouble taking a J-Term class or struggled with last spring’s transition to online classes, then it may be best to wait until you are back in Charlottesville to take more classes. 

10. You don’t always need to be productive

As students, it is easy to get caught up in how productive we are feeling. Spending the hour between classes on anything other than schoolwork can feel like we’re being unproductive or lazy. Even with a free summer class available, it is okay to take a break from being a student for a few months. This way, you can prevent burnout and prepare for a great fall semester.