This is College: Thoughts of a Peer Academic Advisor vol. 1.8
Peer Academic Advisor: Jana Biever
Major: Psychology & Anthropology
With all of this snowy weather, it has been nearly impossible to not think about the warm summer sun. While you are making you plans for summer vacation, consider taking a summer class at Mason! Summer is a great time to take a few classes in order to help you complete your degree on time, lighten your course load for upcoming semesters, or to repeat a class.
Registration for summer classes beings on Monday, March 10. To determine your registration day, you can check here: http://summer.gmu.edu/registration/ or refer to your Time Ticket on Patriot Web. When you are deciding what classes to take, it is important to note that the course work over the summer is intensive since the sessions are shorter than during the Fall or Spring semesters. Be careful about not taking more classes than you can handle during the summer. Most students only take 1-3 classes over the summer.
You can look up which classes are available over the summer on Patriot Web, just like you would for Fall and Spring classes. There are three sessions available over the summer: Session A: May 19-June 27, Session B: June 2-July 22, and Session C: June 30-August 8. As you can see, these sessions all overlap with each other, so it is very important to check the dates of the classes you are interested in, because you may end up starting another class before you finish with the first one. I recommend taking classes in only one session or classes in Session A and Session C since those dates do not conflict with each other. You can find out more information about the different summer sessions here: http://summer.gmu.edu/
Remember: it is extremely important to see your advisor before summer registration to talk about your options and check your degree progress! So make sure that you schedule your appointment as soon as possible.
If you are like me, the Midterm period for your classes may have already started. Since we have had so many snow days, it is important to keep track of the dates your midterm exams and papers are due since they may have changed. If you haven’t already had your midterms, make sure to plan time over break to study. Midterms are tricky because it may be tempting to forgo studying over break, but you still need to stay on track with your grades.
Midterm grades are required to be posted on Patriot Web for 100-200 level classes, so you can check your progress there. Grades will be posted from Monday, February 17 – Friday, March 21. For students in 300-400 level classes, I have found that most professors will post your grades on Blackboard or be willing to share those with you during their office hours.
The grades you have around midterms are good indicators of your progress in your classes. If you are unhappy with those grades, take this as motivation to study harder, talk to your professors, and plan ahead for important assignments. You can always talk to your academic advisors about developing time-management skills and your options for potentially using one of your Selective Withdrawals to drop a class. I highly recommend discussing those options with an advisor before using a Selective Withdrawal so you know exactly what that will mean for your GPA and on your transcript.
Good luck with your exams and have a safe, happy Spring Break. Stay warm!