When school starts in TWO weeks, I will be a Senior. Yet, this July is when I took my first summer course. I avoided taking classes in the summer like the plague during my first three years of college. In my mind, summer was for vacations, swimming, spending time with friends, leisurely reading, and basically anything unrelated to school.
As I approached the end of my junior year, I began to plan how my final semesters at State would look and realized the best option for a particular class was to take the summer course; I knew and liked the professor very well and this would prevent me from having a heavy load my final semester.
My attitude about the experience was less than lovely, at first. I was intimidated by the amount of content that would be covered in four short weeks. I thought of every possible thing that could go wrong in this class. I had basically counted the class as a bust before I even looked at the syllabus.
After the first week, my attitude completely changed. I kicked it into gear and buckled down for a successful semester.
Looking back, I see that I learned much more from this class than definitions and theories.
Taking this summer class taught me that I work well under pressure-two tests, a project, and a paper within four days gave me that lesson. I learned that in a small summer class, your classmates become your friends and your allies.
Also, a summer class is NOT the plague.
Professors are humans, too. Although this can be learned in a normal semester, this course was a prime example. My dear professor was facing a tragedy in her family, which meant errors in assignments, a different mood from her than we were accustomed to, and her absence for a couple of days.
One of the greatest truths that I came out of this class with is that I am capable of much more than I believe. Enrolling in this summer class helped me conquer my fear of them. I overcame the belief that I was going to struggle and possibly fail during this course.
While the definition of a norm-referenced test may or may not actually be useful in my life, the strength that I mustered to complete my first summer class will carry me through many daunting tasks.
What I want you to take from this is the courage to do the things that seem unappealing or frightening to you. Take the course you've been avoiding. Have the tough conversation with your estranged family member. Whatever you face, know that you can do it. Just as I was, you are capable of much more than you believe.