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Surviving Summer Classes for First-timers

Summer classes are worth taking. RICA FERNANDEZ tells you how to navigate these important months


30 Apr 2012 Print This Post Print This Post


    Summer classes are taken by students for two reasons, either because they want to be ahead of others by studying subjects in advance or they need to catch up on subjects they’ve left behind during the past semesters.

    Been there, done that. Last year, I took summer classes for the first time in my academic life. I thought the scenario would be just the same with regular semesters, but I was wrong. Summer classes are different. There were lots of adjustments I had to do. Good thing, I was able to get the hang of it after a few weeks, with the help of professors, and classmates who were going through the same thing.

    Whether you are taking a class in advance or getting back on a subject you left behind, here are some useful tips and advice for summer class first-timers like you.

    • Attendance is STILL important in summer classes. In fact, much more important. Some students think that because it’s a summer class, it’s okay not to take it too seriously. FACT: Summer classes are condensed because of the time constraints. In regular classes, we have a minimum of four months to study a subject. But in summer classes, we only have two. One day of absence in a summer class is corresponding to one or two weeks of absence in a regular class — that’s how much you will miss.
    • Stay focused. The summer class I took last year required me to sit inside a classroom for six straight hours a day, from 12 noon to 6 in the evening. It had been a struggle for me to keep myself alert and awake. But writing notes while the professor is talking in front really helped. It gave me something to do than just to listen or stare. Getting hungry in the middle of the lessons can also prevent you from keeping your focus so you better eat before you go to class.
    • Make new friends. Students who attend classes in the summer term are usually a mix from different departments/courses in the university. Take this opportunity to meet new people. Being with these people who are experiencing the same things as yours will actually help you go through your summer classes easily. Create a study group or hang out with them after class. After all, summer classes never meant not having fun.
    • Keep yourself hydrated. Better be safe than sorry. Intense heat can cause uneasiness, severe headaches and worse, heat stroke. Bringing a bottle of water with you in class is a simple but sure way to avoid all of these.

    Have fun. It’s not wrong to have fun and take a break once in a while. Hang out with your new friends after class, go on a weekend road trip, or reward yourself with a stroll at the mall after acing an exam.


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