Summer Classes: The Ups, The Downs, and the Everything in Between

There I was, sitting in front of the laptop screen, smile perched on my lips as I listened to the satisfying click, click, click of my keyboard. Just a few more and I’d be set. No way was I going to let COVID keep screwing me over. Sure, it may have taken Japan from me, and my Spring semester, but I’d be damned if I let it take my credits too!

Just one more click and-YES! Registration was complete and my classes were set. Here I come 16 credits in six weeks.

Worst. Mistake. Ever.

Technically, right now I should have been in Japan, just waking up for the day and heading for my morning classes. I’d be crammed on the train like one of those sardines in a can, and it would be sticky and hot. I’d have my headphones in, listening to my next audio book and thinking about what all I had to do that day. But no, I’m here in America, killing myself with 16 credits worth of summer classes just to make up for the semester I missed due to this virus rampaging around the world. Someone’s having way too much fun with their Plague Inc. game.

There are tons of students around the world who I know are in similar positions. To all you people out there, kudos and keep your chin up. We’re almost there; just a few more weeks and we’ll be home free, somewhat anyway. Trading one backbreaking course for another come the fall semester. ‘Tis the life of a college student.

Things weren’t so bad in the beginning. All of my teachers would continuously ask me, “Are you sure you want to take this many credits?” “Are you aware of how many credits you’re taking?” “Do you understand how intensive these classes are?” And to all of them I’d smile, nod, say “Yes” when in actuality their words went in one ear and out the other.

Sigh. Sometimes I can be so thick headed.

It didn’t start out terrible. Things were excellent. It was later on in the courses that the load picked up. It didn’t help that my Math course let me work ahead, only to turn around and tell me I couldn’t take the Midterm or Final early; for all the rest, course materials were released by the week. From 6 A.M. to 9 at night, I’d work away on those classes. First time in university where I’ve worked such extensive days. I applaud all of you who double major. I’m doing bottom of the barrel Gen Ed’s and the only one not killing me in FSN and CMJ. I suspect my one English course starting later this month won’t be too bad either. I’m excited for that one.

Who else is sharing in this pain? How did COVID screw you and your schedule over? I have a friend I met in Japan, and she’s double majoring where every credit had to be structure from first year to graduation. Well, that all got messed up. For me, it wasn’t as detrimental as long as I completed summer session; I know for others it’s a different tune.

Can we all agree, though, that one of the best feelings is sitting back after a long day’s work and realizing you’re done? That moment when you stretch and your muscles pop and pull; your limbs give that long, gentle sigh of relief and peace settles over your mind for a few blissful seconds. All is right with the world and things have never looked more beautiful. I live for those moments, and I think these summer courses have only made me more appreciative of them.

Just the other night, I was sitting on my parents screened in back porch. It had just finished raining, but lightening was still flickering in the sky, back-lighting the clouds. Everything was silent save for the soft rustle of leaves on occasion. I’d been reading a new book on my tablet when I glanced up, breath catching in my throat. The first fireflies of the season were speckling the backyard. They danced around one another, flashing their lights in greeting. It almost felt as if they were congratulating me, saying, “Good job on another days hard work!”

Behind all these headaches, stresses, and utter exhaustion from the pure torture that is summer classes lies the fact that it’s all worth it. I don’t know what all your goals are, but for me I’ll be able to start my junior year with all my Gen Ed’s out of the way and focus solely on my major and minor. I also know that with every stretch of my muscles, every huff over math, every nodding off during FSN I get closer to the end of my classes, and I’ll be a little sad to see them go. They can be a major pain in the neck, but at the end of the day they’re still a tiny bit interesting.

Let me know how your summer class experience has gone! Until next time.

All the best.

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