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Summer – School Extended

Thomas Fitzpatrick, C'24

books in a library

The idea of spending your summer in a classroom might not sound like the most appealing prospect, but sometimes, it's a sacrifice you must make to reach your goals. For me, that meant diving into summer classes during my first and second years of college, a decision driven by my determination to finish my education as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Since high school, I've harbored this goal of fast-tracking my way through school. It's not that I don't value education; it's just that I've never been one to revel in the traditional academic setting. However, I recognize its importance in paving the way for a more prosperous future career-wise. So, summer classes became a means to an end – a way to expedite my journey toward that brighter tomorrow.

Sure, there's a prevailing sentiment against summer school, and understandably so. After all, who wouldn't want to soak up every ray of sunshine and savor the freedom that comes with a break from the rigors of academia? But here's the thing – I found myself enjoying it.

The fast-paced nature of summer classes was invigorating. With fewer students enrolled, the classes felt more intimate, fostering a deeper connection with the professors. And let's not forget the condensed timeline – just five weeks to dive headfirst into three courses. It was intense, but there was a certain satisfaction in knowing that I was making significant strides toward my academic goals in such a short span of time.

Some might argue that juggling summer classes with a full-time job and a social life is next to impossible. I get it – I've been there. During the summers, I worked as a roofer, putting in long hours that started before the crack of dawn and often stretched well into the evening. But here's the beauty of it: by dedicating my evenings to schoolwork, I was able to chip away at assignments gradually, without sacrificing my weekends or precious moments of downtime.

And let me tell you, the payoff was worth it. Sure, those five weeks were challenging, but knowing that I'd be nine credits ahead by the end of it all – with two months of uninterrupted summer bliss stretching out before me – fueled my determination. It was a sprint, not a marathon, and the finish line was well within reach.

So, while the idea of spending your summer in a classroom might not be everyone's cup of tea, sometimes, it's the unconventional paths that lead us to our greatest triumphs. And for me, those summer classes were just another steppingstone on the journey toward a brighter, more fulfilling future.

Thomas Fitzpatrick, C'24