Thursday, April 19, 2012

Surviving Summer Session

Written by: Chelsey Duncan, Marketing Intern

As summer looms around the corner, many students struggle to stay focused in classes. Days of warm weather, laying out by the pool and being “school-free” for three months can distract from daunting term papers and semester finals. Motivation is even bleaker for others who signed up for summer courses. Depending on which session students enroll in, classes could start the week after spring finals. All hope is not lost though.
Taking summer courses offers many advantages. For starters, parking is cheaper and more convenient, with less Lexington traffic during the summer months. Smaller classes provide an easy way to meet new friends and to get to know professors, who could possibly turn into future recommendations. Enrolling in independent study and internships are simple ways to earn both resume-building experience and to receive academic credit. Additionally, classes can be taken to fill hours with easy electives, to knock out difficult courses, and to get ahead or to catch up for graduation. It’s possible to earn a whole semester’s worth of credit in one summer.
Decide which options are best, depending on course availability. UK offers a four-week and an eight-week summer session, and a six-week combination of the two. In addition, distance-learning courses are available during both sessions. Choose a schedule that is realistic. And remember, the work doesn’t end there. Because summer session is taught at an accelerated pace, expect many hours of homework each night. Look into Pass/Fail credit options to potentially relieve some stress about grades.
A great alternative to earn credit is the Distance Learning Program. Online courses can help save rent money by moving home for the summer and also allow more flexible scheduling around summer jobs. However, they do not necessarily mean less work and can actually be more strenuous than regular courses, so be prepared to put in the time and effort. Distance learning courses can be taken at UK or transferred from less expensive institutions, but first make sure to check transfer equivalencies and if on-location proctored tests are required.
Try not to overload summer break with courses. Taking sessions back-to-back is an option, but realize that spring semester ends May 4, the first summer session runs May 7 to June 5, and the second session runs June 7 to August 2. If this route is unavoidable, plan a short vacation between the end of session two and the beginning of fall semester as motivation to get through classes. Above all else, don’t forget to make time for yourself. Do homework by the pool, go golfing after class or take mini-trips on the weekends. You only live once!

Find out more about UK summer course options here:

And read these articles for more tips to surviving summer session: 

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