YOUNG VOICES: Summer school turned out to be good experience

2013-03-25T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Summer school turned out to be good experienceBy Alyssa Dillon nwitimes.com
March 25, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The word "summer" usually has a positive connotation. It makes teenagers think of sunshine, swimming, the smell of sunscreen and the feel of sand between your toes. It's amazing how adding one other word to it can create feelings on the complete other end of the spectrum.

When I was in middle school, the television shows I used to watch always made it seem as though only the delinquents had to go to summer school. I used to think summer school was for the students who didn't care about school and had completely failed a class and had to retake it. However, as I grew older I learned this was not the case. In fact, it was almost the opposite.

I chose to take my first summer school class during the summer after my eighth grade year. It was an art class. I figured it would be a good way to learn my way around the high school and to get an art credit out of the way.

Summer school courses are three weeks long and last from 7:35 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. They typically cover a week's worth of material in a day.

I thought taking summer school would be tough, regardless of the subject. I thought it would be too hard to get up early and go to school when all of my friends were on vacation. Little did I know I would end up enjoying summer school.

Unlike the normal school year, the weekends were the tough part. My friends were out of town, and I became bored fairly quickly. When Monday came around, I didn't mind going back and seeing my classmates. I had become friends with a number of people from different middle schools, and we would chat throughout the day while we worked on our art projects. I made friends in that class who remain close friends to this day.

Taking a course during the summer not only has social advantages, but academic ones as well. It is much easier to focus on only one subject every night.During regular school days, students have multiple subjects, each with their fair share of homework. During the summer, there are no after-school club meetings to worry about, and there's only one textbook that needs to be carried home.

Taking a required class, such as speech, during the summer also creates a space in the subsequent year's schedule which can then be filled with something for which there would not have been room otherwise.

I have taken a summer school class every summer throughout my high school years, and I am glad I did. I have made new friends, accumulated more credits and have taken multiple courses for which I would otherwise never have had time.

Therefore, I wholeheartedly recommend underclassmen sign up for some summer school. It's not as bad as you think.

Alyssa Dillon of Valparaiso is a senior at Valparaiso High School. The opinions are the writer's.

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