student sit on grass in the middle of campus

Summer sun means the courtyard is the new favorite study location

Since I graduated high school, summer just hasn’t been the same anymore. Of course, summer is still a time to relax and have fun with friends but it’s also become a critical few months to prepare for the next semester. And I know that I am not alone in this; most college students work as many hours as possible to pay for school or build up their resumes with valuable internship experience. Still others, like myself, take summer classes in order to get ahead, explore interests or catch up and graduate sooner.

This will be my third year of summer classes. After freshman year, I took two classes because I had to stay in Winona for a part-time job and wanted to get started on my English major and what was then a Mass Communication minor. During my second summer, I went on a two week travel study  to Italy, which was an amazing experience I wouldn’t have been able to have during the normal semester. Now this summer, I’ll be taking two classes in order to graduate in four years with an English and PR double major.

Every year, there are three summer sessions—May, June, and July—and each is about 4 weeks long. You can take just one session or take classes the whole summer. Each course has a pretty intense schedule of class two hours a day, four days a week but, honestly, I find this easier than juggling the content and workload of 4 or 5 classes for 16 weeks. Plus, because there are fewer people on campus, you can be pretty much guaranteed that your favorite study location will be open.

I’ve always taken traditional-style classes and stayed in Winona through the summer. Summer in Winona is way more fun than Winona in the winter as there are many festivals and outdoor recreation opportunities. However, if you really want to get out of town for a few months, many classes are actually offered online so you can take them while still living at home. Other classes are hybrids, balancing online and face-to-face class time. Depending on where your hometown is, this may mean that you can make a daytrip for those face-to-face classes.

If you are interested in taking a summer class or two (and I encourage that you do), you can go online to the “Find A Course” website and take a look at the classes being offered this summer. Once you find a class and a time that works for you, you can add it to your cart and register then and there—no access code needed. Whether you want to get ahead in your major or general education requirements, travel for class credit or graduate sooner, summer classes are an option worth considering.


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Elizabeth Meinders

Elizabeth was the Blog Manager before she graduated with a BA degree in English & Public Relations in 2015. She is from Marshfield, WI and her interests include crafting, playing board games and snuggling with her cats.

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