Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Coping with the summer school blues


Whether you are taking summer classes during a mini-term or full term, the constant struggle between wanting to hang out with friends at the pool or making it to your twelve o’clock is always there.

Summer terms, though shorter, come with the burden of having to sometimes choose between work and play. But does that choice always have to be work? Professors and students weigh in on coping with summer school and how to make it through the classes while still enjoying your summer.

Ron Gilmer, a religious studies professor, said his summer classes differ tremendously from his fall or spring classes. Because the class hours are longer to make up for the shortened weeks, it’s harder to keep students interested when you’re pelting them with information for two hours.

Gilmer also said he feels it’s not fair to require so much homework in a shortened amount of time or to force students to try to retain information for a test every week.

Because of this, Gilmer’s summer class only has two tests. His daily routine is to teach for an hour, have a ten-minute break, and resume the class with some unique way of keeping the students interested.

“It’s not our jobs to set students up to fail, but to really teach them,” Gilmer said.

However, not all teachers are as nice and understanding as Gilmer.

Kyle Holt, a rising senior at the University of Alabama, is taking statistics this summer.

According to Holt, the class he is taking is taught as it would be during the regular academic year, which he finds somewhat understandable since the information builds on itself, so there is not much room for cutting material.

He does feel, however, that being bombarded with work and tests in such a short period of time is not in any student’s best interest. Statistics, or any problem-solving class, is hard enough without having to try to rush through material.

“Your future should not be based on what you can do in the classroom, but your work ethic in the field,” Holt said. “Honestly, you should pass summer classes just for showing up everyday. It should not be this hard. But, you just have to stick it out and get through it.”

The University of Alabama Center for Teaching and Learning has provided students with tips for being successful in the classroom.

One tip is not letting your interest in the course affect your grade in the course. Whether you like the class or not, you will receive a grade at the end, so study hard, learn the material, and make it through the class. Develop a daily routine and set aside time for studying, playing, and resting. Managing your time is vital in order to do well. And finally, seek out help if you need it. There are many resources available for you to use, such as the CTL.

When it comes to dealing with that struggle between work and play, you have to choose what is most important in the long haul.

Corey Smith, a rising senior, is currently taking summer classes, interning and participating in Theatre Tuscaloosa’s upcoming musical “A Drowsy Chaperone.” Smith said you must have your priorities in place and get the important things out of the way first in order to do well in summer school.

“School is the most important thing right now, and good times with friends are always going to come,” he said. “If you focus on what matters and get what you need to do out of the way, there will be plenty of time to play and do the things you want to do.”

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