After working your butt off during the intense quarter system that Portland State has, you deserve a break in the summer. It’s completely justified.
However, you should definitely consider summer classes.
Hear me out. Summer classes are not a bad option. They have their perks. Honest.
The first and more obvious perk is that they help you graduate faster. While others take impromptu coast trips, you can cut corners to graduation by taking important classes over the summer. One thing I’ve enjoyed over the summer is taking required classes that would otherwise take up more valuable “major time” during an intense winter term. Taking one or two of these classes out of the way during the summer helps me prioritize major-relevant courses for the main part of the school year without having to compromise as much work time to pre-reqs.
Keep in mind you don’t necessarily need to take 12 credits during the summer either. You’ll still be able to make time for outdoor excursions with friends.
Don’t want to pay as much money to commute? Going to your home state for the summer? Never fear—PSU also offers that wonderful little option known as online courses. Online courses help you schedule classes into your life instead of scheduling your life around summer classes. Have a summer job that makes for weird class times? Online classes can work with that.
This all being said, remember that online classes require a little bit of self-discipline. You may not meet your teacher or classmates face-to-face or work during the same time as them, but you do owe them the work and punctuality expected of any class.
There’s also something to be said for taking summer classes on-campus. Classes in the summer can be smaller, and because of this, they can often feel more personal. If you traditionally feel like your classes don’t involve enough legitimate interactions with your professors and teachers, summer classes will serve as a valuable opportunity to get to know them in the classroom a little better.
Taking summer classes will also, to quote your mom, “keep you sharp.” It’s really easy for us to fall back on our lazier habits and tendencies during the summertime. Now, there’s not really anything wrong with that per se, but it’s common for students on summer break to either not know what to do or not be ready to adjust back to a school regiment. Summer courses can help you maintain enough of that momentum while also giving yourself a little bit of slack time. It’s a win-win.
Last but not least, have you been on the PSU campus in the summer? It’s honestly one of my favorite PSU summer perks. Sunny, warm, and relatively empty, the park blocks and campus are a great, quiet place to chill either on your own or with company. You can study in the sun, write your paper outside, or just relax and play frisbee with friends. What’s not to love?
Summer classes may not be our ideal choice, but they come with a lot of perks. If you’re looking to get some courses out of the way or just get ahead, they’re definitely worth considering.