COLUMN: So it turns out I love summer school

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Katja Benz, Columnist

I’m staying in Charleston for the summer. I’m interning on campus (which is a required ‘class’ for my major), taking my senior seminar while continuing to give tours and write for the News.

The fact that I’m taking classes over the summer got me thinking to myself: when was the last time I had a ‘free summer’? Free summer meaning I didn’t have to work or take classes.

By that logic, I haven’t had a free summer since I went into eighth grade. I was in the marching band in high school and had band camp pretty much all summer from the summer before I started freshman year and going into my senior year of high school.

Ever since I graduated high school, I’ve been taking classes, interning, working or a mix of all three.

I moved into where I’m staying for the summer earlier this week. That night, after my parents left and I had a light dinner, I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I was so excited and ready to start my summer classes that I couldn’t even relax a little and take a night off from work or emails.

And I realized that might be a good thing. I didn’t realize it until now, but summer classes are super beneficial.

At the community college I went to, I took my English Composition one class the summer I graduated high school. I wanted to dip my toes into what a college class was actually like (and since I was in band, I didn’t really know what downtime was, so taking a summer class definitely helped my time management skills and learning how to take downtime).

And I haven’t looked back since. When I took my first summer class, there weren’t as many students on campus, which helped ease my transition when the fall semester came and there were more students on campus.

It turns out a lot of other students do that, too. According to Geneva College, students may choose to use the summer to take their general education courses so they can take more interesting classes during the school year.

“Knocking out these mandatory GE (general education) classes in a summer session lets you register for more advanced, more interesting classes in the fall directly related to your major,” said a Geneva College article.

The article continued by saying “Summer school can offer a great do-over opportunity if you need to retake a class,” which is something that I did so I could take four classes in my first year of college.

Sometimes, students may also want additional transitional help before they start college. Some colleges offer transition classes for incoming freshmen over the summer.

These classes may have themes or be catered to certain groups on a college campus while also having high retention rates for these students, according to a University of Central Florida article.

“They may also further enhance a student’s connection to their college community for special affinity groups,” the article said. “And participants in these programs often have some of the highest success and retention rates compared to other students.”

And those are only a few of the things I love about being in summer school. I loved making connections with classmates and my professors.

I loved learning new skills and adjusting to the new settings around me.

But most importantly, I’ve noticed I do better in summer classes than in the spring or fall semesters. That’s almost ironic to me.

It’s ironic because I almost seem to have the same amount of things to do in my life no matter the season. However, my body seems to adjust better to classes over the summer.

Which to me, makes it seem as if my body has learned to love summer school.

Katja Benz is a senior English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]