At USU, spring semester officially ends May 5th, giving summer session students only three days of break before classes start back up again on May 8th.
The decision to take summer classes or not is as individual as the students who make that choice.
For Emily Avila, a senior majoring in Biochemistry, summer study has never been a part of her graduation plan.
“I need to work during the summer. Summertime is my only source of real income for the year, “ Avila said.
Michael Bishop, a Masters student studying statistics has not enrolled in summer classes.
“I would have considered it during my undergrad,” Bishop says. “But they don’t offer the upper level classes that I need.”
Avila says that even though some of her classes have been offered during summer semester, she prefers to get all of her classes done consecutively.
Jerron Purser, a senior asian studies major, says that while he can see how summer classes lighten “the overall course load”, he likes to use summer to take a break from school, working two jobs to earn enough money for the school year.
However, because of how his credits line up, after next spring semester Purser will have only one more class to take in order to graduate.
“I don’t want to take another semester just for one class.” Purser says. He decided to enroll in one summer class in order to graduate earlier.
Grant Montoya, a junior studying Global Communication, enrolled in summer classes for a similar reason.
“I want to graduate sooner,” Montoya says. By taking nine credits between spring and fall semesters, Montoya will be able to cut almost an entire semester out of his graduation plan.
“The way things are lining up, I will have one extra class fall 2018, but I still think it will be a jump start that will help me out,” said Montoya.
Sarah Burton, an Elementary Education major says she has taken summer classes to keep herself from forgetting material in between semesters.
“I had a teacher that was really good in math, so I wanted to continue before I declined and forgot everything. I wanted to keep the material fresh in my memory,” Burton said.
Unfortunately, Burton felt as though her summer professor was not as experienced as her other math teachers.
“She just didn’t quite know what she was doing, so luckily I figured it out for myself and got a tutor. I think she was a little bit newer in the teaching situation so it was a little hard because her teaching was just not there for me.”
Another difficulty that can arise when taking summer classes is the “time and money spent”, Montoya says. “I will be working full time, so with work and classes I won’t be able to travel as much or have a relaxed schedule.”
While it is true that balancing work, school and fun can be difficult, some students feel as though they have been able to get the most out of their summer vacation while still taking USU classes.
“Taking summer classes didn’t “detract” from my normal summer activities,” Burton said. “I have stayed in Logan over the summer not taking classes and it was basically the same thing.”
USU summer classes are available on campus and online, which facilitates flexibility in a summer schedule.
“I thought it was great as far as timing goes.” says Cameron Page, a junior studying human biology. “It was also online so it was even more convenient for me to work around my schedule during the summer.”
USU also offers two seven week sessions and one 14 week session during the summer. “I liked the summer because it was a different pace, and you can get it done quickly instead of waiting a whole semester. What usually takes 14 weeks, I got done in 7.” says Burton.
When deciding whether or not to take summer classes, Page says, “Make sure you take classes that you aren’t just going to be wasting your time in. Don’t take classes just because they sound fun. Make sure they count for something.”
Burton advises,“Schedule your classes in a way that you can have a summer vacation. I had mine early in the morning and I got done by ten. Usually most students are not out of bed by ten. Just keep in mind that if you want to have a summer, schedule your classes around that so you can go do something.”