So, it's almost August, which means most students have not picked up a calculator, written an essay, or even held a pencil in roughly a month or two.

Most students take advantage of the summer months, using the long-awaited break from school to travel, work, or relax. I did too until I graduated high school.

As an elementary school kid, I never had summer homework or summer reading. Even as a high schooler, summer work was (surprisingly) rare and pretty minimal.

This all changed the summer after I graduated high school. I had about ten days of freedom before I was off to Penn State for summer session classes. Choosing University Park was the best decision I have ever made, but my summers have not been the same since. This is because ever since I graduated high school, I have not stopped taking classes.

To some, this may sound ridiculous, and to others, it may be impressive. But to me, it's become an overload of stress.

I didn't really have a choice when it came down to attending summer session, but I have had a choice every summer since then.

I will say there are definitely benefits to continuing your education through the summer. But there are other ways to keep your mind active over breaks without going overboard. If you don't have to take a class, why not keep your mind sharp by reading books you like, listening to podcasts, or watching Ted Talks?

The truth is, we all need a little break from school once in a while. Taking classes is difficult as is. Add in the stress of worrying about how the class(es) will affect your GPA, and you have even more weight on your shoulders.

I'm not saying taking summer classes is a terrible idea that should be avoided at all costs, but you should be aware of when your body needs a break.

Don't continue to take classes just because you're worried about what will happen if you don't take them. You don't have to be ahead all of the time, and you don't always need the stress of a letter grade hanging over your head.

Yes, classes over break can be the best thing for you in certain cases. If there's a class on campus that's been known to give people a hard time, then, by all means, take it at your community college. We've all done that. But know that breaks are essential once in a while. They help enhance our creativity, motivation, and passion. Whether we're talking about a gap year or a brief break, take what's needed. No one likes to feel burned out.