People think that even at the community college level, college students get summers off and party them away. While some do, others don't. That's right, some college students have to take summer courses. It's not that they want to, it's that they have to. So, sorry to those who are majoring in Anthropology or one of its subdivisions. You don't get a summer vacation.
If you want to finish in under two full years, you have to take 15 credits every usual quarter, plus a few in the summer. That's right, some summer classes are needed at least once. Now, if you have tons of free time and don't have a job, you can take more than three college level classes a quarter, and don't have to take any summer quarter. But if you're like most students, you have a job or other responsibilities that take up most of your time. Plus, you do NOT want to tax yourself. If you are in an honors program, that class load just got a lot heavier. A normal class will need ten-to-twenty hours per week with studying and assignments; add about three hours more for an honors class. That's not too much in any average subject area, but Anthropology classes have extensive reading as well as in-class assignments that make your wrist hurt. We're not even going to mention the take home assignments.
Free time? Don't kid yourself. Free time is an illusion... Most of the time. There are some rare occurrences that you will have free time, but you generally won't. Sure, that goes for almost any college student, but Anthropology majors have even less free time. Professors will expect you to either read three chapters a week and complete assignments, or have all of that plus a research assignment, too. And when you think you have free time? Yeah, see that mountain of clothes? That needs to be washed. Oh, and that assignment that you thought was due next week; that's due now. You'll run yourself thin, but you'll learn a lot of neat tricks to deal with it. When you do get free time you'll probably sleep or do absolutely nothing. If you are a die-hard though, you'll probably be relaxing with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa while doing some light reading.
This can either be class research, or university research. You won't be like the other college students hoping to transfer to a mediocre school that's relatively cheap. No. You'll want, even need, the name recognition of the more expensive schools. Plus, most of the cheaper schools don't offer study-abroad opportunities where you can get the field experience that is usually required to get a decent job after grad school. This research will probably continue right up until you have to apply to a university, and maybe even after that. If it's just research for a class, it ends when the quarter or semester ends. Oh, and there's researching which classes you need to take to get your degree as well.
Yes, you will be able to have fun. College isn't all work and no play, you just have to schedule it carefully. Maybe you can even do assignments while having fun. The classes can be fun as well, so you won't be completely burnt out by the end of the semester or quarter. You can even have fun while studying for that big exam (that won't be as hard as you think.) Just get a group of friends, even those who aren't in your class. Turn the studying into a game by having them quiz you, then have you try to figure out who knows the answer. Or you can study for about twenty minutes and talk for about ten, then repeat. Have fun, create your own way of having fun with it.
This applies for any college student, but especially for Anthropology students with heavy class loads. Write things down in a day planner, notebook, Word document, Google Calendar- whatever works for you. Pay attention to what the teacher says- if they say the assignment has been moved up or back, you'll need to write that down. Don't schedule classes ten minutes apart on opposite ends of the campus unless you like rushing, or it's a small campus. Trust me, it sucks.
You definitely learn how to manage your time wisely, and, if you're a good student, you learn how to work in groups to get things done quicker. You learn about your future profession and can tell if it's for you usually by the second or third Anthropology class. You learn how to deal with stress and communicate with others even better. You also learn how to analyze things better than you used to, and you can even start to figure out why people act the way they do. You might be able to travel to other parts of the world, and you'll have some cool stories to tell when you finally go on digs after you finish school. Overall, it's not that bad, but you definitly won't be getting that summer break for a while.