As the temperatures get higher and the shorts get shorter, the daydreams of summer become more and more vivid. However, the reality for many students is not some amazing vacation to some exotic destination, but the non-air-conditioned classrooms of Buchanan and Girvetz as they toil away in the twelve weeks that complete our quarter system: Summer Session.
Whether you’re taking classes to get ahead, to catch up, simply to graduate on-time or you’ve signed your life away to work full time, you’re probably not looking forward to spending your summer at school. But I say, be not afraid because, from my experience, summer is actually be the best time to be in Isla Vista.
Classes are different over summer, so while you still might have to take them, it’s a completely different style giving a slight reprieve from the standard intensity. Summer is broken down into several different sessions, the two main ones being Session A, running mid June to early August, and Session B, finishing the summer from early August through mid-September. In these twelve weeks there is no finals week, typically professors just give the finals on the last day of class usually making the finals much shorter than the standard three-hour time block.
The timing is different as well; classes in Summer are usually longer because they are giving you the entire class of information in half the time, so it’s common for the classes to be an hour-and-a-half or even two hours. But, this doesn’t seem to matter because, while you’re in class for longer, you’re not taking as many classes. The average student wont take more than two classes per session, meaning that even if you’re in lecture for two hours a piece, it’s only four hours a day, which is usually pretty manageable.
Also, as I’ve experienced it, the professors realize that over summer there is less time allotted for lectures, so typically they will decrease the amount of information they expect to teach. The class sizes are also cut down, or at least halved. What was a 1,000-person lecture in Campbell Hall turned into a 250-person lecture in Buchanan.
The best part isn’t even that there are less people in class. It’s that there are less people here in general. A large majority of the Isla Vista population emigrates every June and therefore the small, close-knit, community-feel that I.V. has during the school year blossoms during the summer.
The streets of I.V. are calmer, you see more familiar faces and there is a much smaller chance that randos are going to break down your door on a Saturday night. The ragers flooded with the blacked-out nobodies of the school year transform into kick-backs with only those on the invite list. I.V. transforms into a calmer and slower-paced version of itself that epitomizes the phrase “beach town.”
The businesses become inversely proportionate to the summer days. As the days increase to hold 14 hours of sunshine, the businesses close to allow their workers to soak up as much vitamin D as they can. The hot, humid weather provides only a better excuse to cancel all plans and float on the ocean, but the long days also allow for beach-going and homework-doing all before the sun sets.
I.V. summers are a very unique experience that seem almost imagined because of their perfection. A summer in I.V. is a perfect balance of school, work, sunshine and friends to make it the best quarter of the year. So good, actually, that it really makes the other quarters pail in comparison.
In fact, as to ensure that you don’t completely lose your enthusiasm for the other 75 percent of the year, it’s probably a good idea that you don’t even try out summer in I.V. Don’t enroll in classes, take them at your local CC. Don’t waste your paychecks on your summer rent, get a sub-leaser and save that money. Don’t have “Summer I.V.” be your amazing vacation destination. Let it be mine.