Summer classes: Alabama students detail the differences

Faster classes, dwindling social lives
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By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Kelby Hutchison

As the University of Alabama begins its Summer II term, students say what they lack in classmates they make up for in school work.

Because the classes take place over a shorter period, they wind up being longer than the average hourlong class three days a week. Instead, classes often require being in class more often and for longer periods of time so students learn the same amount as their spring and fall peers.

“Summer classes are crammed and don’t give us a lot of time to study, honestly,” said UA student Diana Nguyen, who was spending her Wednesday afternoon seated in the UA Student Center cramming for an upcoming test. Nguyen said the accelerated pace makes the course content harder to absorb.

Other students said the difficulty of summer classes depends on the department and subject.

“Math classes are definitely a lot more difficult over the summer, but then English classes are super simple,” said UA junior Zoey Rich, who added that the difficulty also depends on the instructor. In her opinion, the Literature classes she’s taken in summer terms were easier than those in fall and spring.

UA senior Bennett Suttles said summer classes require something every day — whether that’s homework, class time or a need to study.

“The workload is a lot more frequent, but it’s about the same compared to the spread-out curriculum in the spring and fall semesters, ” Suttles said.

Things are more relaxed in the summer, though, and Suttles said his summer instructors are a little more lenient because of how much content that’s covered over such a short amount of time.

For those who stay in Tuscaloosa for scholarly pursuits, the nightlife is majorly lacking, students said.

“Oh it’s dead here,” Suttles said. “There’s like nothing to do. You have to find stuff to do during the summer.”

Nguyen said oftentimes it’s just her and her books.

“Summer classes get kinda lonely because not a lot of people are still on campus,” she said.

Oftentimes, friend groups are separated over the summer, so those who do stay in town don’t have their regular support system and can find their social lives dead in the water.

“It’s a whole different animal,” Rich said. “It goes from widespread Greek life-based social life to a lot more academically based social life.”

In addition to her classes, Rich said she focuses on her job over the summer.

UA grad student Vakram Sangh said Summer II feels like it has more students than Summer I. For him, though, his department is on the small side, meaning even though there are more people on campus, he’s bored more often than not.

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