When you’re in college the whole thing goes by in something of a blur. There are times though when you may have considered extending yourself beyond

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When you’re in college the whole thing goes by in something of a blur. There are times though when you may have considered extending yourself beyond the end of the fall semester and tried taking classes during the “winter session.” But are the winter classes really worth all of the headaches? There are two sides to this story that can either help your academic trajectory or not really do all that much good after all.

Pros: Whenever you are making a decision you need to look at both sides of the story. The positives to winter intersession classes are numerous:

  • They’re quick
  • They’re focused
  • You cover a lot of material
  • You have professors who understand that you’re taking intersession
  • You get the credits you need on the other end

All of these reasons may make winter intersession classes seem like something of a no-brainer. However, as in any argument, there are always detractors or those who say that you should stay away from winter intersession classes.

Cons: You may have heard some horror stories of winter intersession classes or you may just be looking at this class schedule and be skeptical. Some of the students of the negative have discovered include things like:

  • Classes are rushed
  • Classes are focused not on things that you’d want to learn about
  • Teachers seem upset they are there
  • Classes meet every day for long hours; sometimes 4-5 hours a day for 5 days a week
  • Classes offered are not anything that you need

Face it when you are taking classes in intersession it is more likely than not just a way for you to clear space for an elective in a future semester. Check the registration book carefully as you may see slight anomalies in the classes which are required which are not quite the same thing when they are offered in winter intersession.

Winter intersession isn’t like a summer session where you have a full six or eight weeks to get the material done. Winter intersession is usually just two or three weeks so you are getting a highly truncated version of your regular semester class. Also, the rushing of class means that if you miss just one day of class you are probably going to have a lot of catching up to do.

Conclusion: The bottom line is that you need to make the decision that works best for you. However, if you have never taken a winter intersession class before there are some things that you should be aware of. The teaching will be fast, the learning will be intense and you really need to be there for every class meeting.

If you do decide to take winter intersession classes over the winter break be prepared to be pushed on through fall finals and straight into the spring semester without any real break. Also, be sure to check that the classes that you’re taking are the right ones for what you need to do. You can’t afford to be taking classes willy-nilly in college!