What are your plans for the summer? Chances are that most of you have plans that don’t involve school, but summer classes can be a great way to get some credits out of the way (and maybe graduate a bit earlier). Here are some things to expect if you are thinking about taking summer classes.

You’ll complete classes in less time.

If your school runs on a semester schedule instead of a quarter schedule, summer classes are a great way to get a full semester’s work done in less time. The available term lengths will depend on your college, but generally, classes can be 5-8 weeks long, or even as short as 3 weeks (compared to the 16-18 weeks that a regular semester takes). If you have a required class that you are not looking forward to, taking it during the summer could be a great way to get it over with quickly.

Class periods will be longer (and/or more frequent).

It is important to note that condensing classes to less time overall will mean that you will most likely have longer individual class periods, more frequent classes, or both. In addition, you will likely have more frequent due dates and test dates to compensate for the shortened schedule. Be sure to consider factors such as the difficulty of your classes, the possible homework and studying that will be involved, and your other time commitments over the summer (work, vacation, time with friends and family, etc) before you sign up for a full load of summer classes. I would recommend not taking more than two classes at a time if possible just to make sure that you have time to do everything.

Class sizes may be smaller.

As you would probably expect, fewer students take advantage of summer classes. A class that would be a large lecture class during the school year might only have 20-40 students during the summer. If you would like to connect more with your classmates and your professor, summer classes may be a good option for you.

Beware of burnout.

Summer classes can be a great opportunity, but it is still important to set aside some time for summer relaxation. If you are in school all summer, you will be feeling pretty worn out by the time Thanksgiving and Christmas come around!

Summer classes can be a great opportunity if you know what to expect in advance. Do you have any tips or information about summer classes? Leave them in the comments below!