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Summer Classes? Yes, Please

Why I spend summer trying to get ahead—not "chilling."

I figured out something over this last weekend.

Taking college classes during the summer is worth it to me. Yes, I do feel like “Oh, this sucks—I’m doing school during the summer. I should be having fun.” But I had a few days of downtime, and I figured out that I need to be doing stuff to feel like I don’t waste the day. I don’t like being lazy. And I don't want to spend all my time playing video games (see the attached video for something that might be able to motivate you along these lines).

I’m currently taking art and Spanish. When I'm done with the Spanish class, I will be done with my college language requirement. That means when I do finally start “becoming a full time college student,” I will pretty much only have to take classes that apply to my field of interest. I am very happy about that. I won’t be wasting time and money doing stuff “I’ll never use in the real world” or paying to take a bowling class.

So far I am liking the classes. The Spanish teacher conveyed the attitude that I believe reflects the way to success in the real world. He demands you show up on time, have your phone off, pay attention and put the effort into learning. If you do that, he’s very relaxed and casual, joking around. He only got tense when three people showed up 20, 40 and 135 minutes late to class, respectively. He also talked about my generation. He mentioned how it's hard to get us interested and paying attention. He added that we often expect big rewards for half-hearted efforts.

During a break on the first day of class, I talked to a fellow student for a bit, and then he stood up and said, “I want to enjoy my summer,” and walked out. That irritated me. I feel like he is being lazy and stupid. Summer classes are ingenious. Your class is only four to five weeks long, for a few hours a day, with minimal or no homework. Plus, the curriculum is cut and condensed, and the class is way cheaper than actual college.

The Spanish teacher was right. My generation isn’t great with focus and seeing the bigger picture. With summer classes, you can put the work in now, or take the immediate gratification and end up going to college longer and paying more—losing time you could be off enjoying the world. But, I guess it shouldn’t really be my problem if other people want to “enjoy their summer.” It is all very subjective. I feel I still have plenty of time for friends, MMA, movie making and my girlfriend. They can go enjoy texting and Tweeting about “chillin’ wit my Xbox homies.”

Rachel Powell July 11, 2011 at 01:08 PM
That's a great attitude, Alex, and lots of kids will be kicking themselves when they have heavy workloads in the fall while you have more time to study and relax. Once you're out there in the 'real world', unless you're a school teacher, your work year-round anyhow. College kids need to understand their free summers are coming to an end soon. My niece is in college and while she didn't take any summer classes, she is working two jobs to make the money to stay in college. It's called becoming a grown-up. It's not fun, but it's life.

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