Is summer break really a break for college students?


Andre Spruell, Opinion Editor

No matter what grade level a student is, we all have one thing in common: looking forward to the summer.

Students love the summer for the sole fact that there is no school, and it is essentially a three month vacation. It also helps that while not going to school in the summertime, the weather is nice enough to do things like go to the beach or hop in a friend’s pool.

Despite all the fun activities people can do in the summer that they cannot do in any other season, for many college students, summer break is not really much of a break.

Here are some reasons why:

1. Summer Job

Working during the summer is common for most students. The biggest reason is because college is too expensive. Most students work to help pay for school necessities like books, tuition, and even rent for students living off campus.

Despite working countless hours during the summer, most jobs do not pay enough for students to cover all their college expenses in most cases.

Even though most students do not make enough money to cover all of their expenses, the saying “something is better than nothing” defines why most college students have summer jobs. Being able to cover some expenses is better than not being able to cover any. 

In most cases, this is the activity that takes up most of college students’ time during the summer, which is the biggest factor as to why summer break is not really much of a break.

2. Internships

I could have included this under the job category, but it needed its own section.

The point of going to college is to have the opportunity to study for four or more years to obtain a degree in order to work in the profession that students have put countless hours of studying and thousands of dollars into to preparing for.

Although school prepares students for what to expect in their respective fields, it is stressed for students to take internships. This is the case because internships provide the real world experience that professors simply cannot teach in college.

I am also of the mindset that internships are extremely important because by interning, a student can see first hand whether they want to pursue that profession after graduating or switch majors because they realize that they are not cut out for the profession.

Also in some cases, there are students that have a regular paying job as well as having an internship because most internships do not pay but instead offer experience.

3. Summer School

Recently, this has become common among many college students.

The most common reason why students take summer classes is to catch up on credits they did not gain through classes. Students also take summer classes to graduate ahead of schedule or on schedule to those who fell behind with classes or those who joined college at a later age. Another reason is for college students to get credit during summer internships.

This ties in with a summer job because taking summer classes are an added expense for college students, on top of all of their other school expenses. Just like everything else in college, summer classes also tend to be expensive for most students.

As a result, if students have to take summer classes, the cheaper alternative is to take classes at their local community college because they might save hundreds of dollars at a less expensive institution.

4. Athletics

For collegiate student-athletes summer break is not a time to just sit around and soak up the sun for three months.

Summertime is a critical time for student-athletes because is a time for them to hone their skills and get better. No matter whether their respective sport is in the fall, winter or spring, being in shape during the summer makes them better prepared for their season.

Coaches will send out texts during the summer to check on their teams to remind them to not forget about their sport. I know this to be true because my coach, Izzi Metz, constantly remains in contact with the team throughout the summer to remind us to continue to work hard in order to achieve our team goals.

Although most college students truly do not have a real “summer break,” we must not forget to enjoy our break as well because at the end of day, it is summertime. In order for college students to truly enjoy their summer break, they must find the balance between taking care of their responsibilities and having fun with family and friends.

Despite having summer jobs, internships, summer school and/or athletic responsibilities, find that balance and next summer will truly feel how it is supposed to be.