Summer classes: stress is best served hot

Balancing summer plans and summer classes can be difficult sometimes.
Balancing summer plans and summer classes can be difficult sometimes. (photo credit: Haleigh McGill)

Instead of getting a tan, students are getting a lecture during their summer class sessions at Colorado State.

Summer classes at CSU allow students to stay focused on their goals while easing the stress of completing a degree, but 15 weeks of content during a shortened summer course can pose a challenge.

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CSU physics major Evan Giacchiano works to stay on track, even though he would prefer to spend his time elsewhere.

“My future and my own personal standards motivate me,” Giacchiano said.

Even CSU professors, like Business Department Professor Mac Danford, sympathize with the students they teach during the summer.

“It’s not that tough on me,” Danford said. “It’s (tough on) the students. There is so much information and preparatory work … They don’t get a day to catch their breath.”

This is Danford’s first time teaching summer classes at CSU.

“It’s a challenge … I’ve been mostly successful so far,” Danford said.

Summer classes at CSU last for periods of four, eight or 12 weeks, and all the courses try to cover 15 weeks of material. Some classes are completed in a classroom or lecture hall while others can be completed through CSU’s OnlinePlus program in a large variety of subjects and courses.

“I really like summer classes, but the four-week sessions are brutal,” said Kenady Chisholm, CSU junior.

The increased pace of summer classes can make for a different academic experience that both students and instructors have to adjust to. Journalism Professor Chris Raftery said there are both advantages and disadvantages.

“I find that summer sessions usually provide a more intimate learning environment, and there usually aren’t as many classes to divide up (the students’) attention,” Raftery said. “But only being allowed a few weeks to cover an entire semester of material can be difficult, and the intensity of the material can be stressful to students.”

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Up at CSU’s Pingree Park Campus, students say the experience is absolutely worth struggling through the summer classes.

“The hands-on learning is really difficult, but the experience is amazing,” said Sean Williams, a wildlife biology and fisheries science major. “Being surrounded by people who both care about the environment and want to learn about it is one of the best parts.”

Collegian Staff Reporter Haleigh McGill can be reached at news@collegian.com.