Towards the end of each semester, it always seems like my brain has reached its maximum capacity. I almost wonder – if I were to read another chapter of a textbook – if my brain would explode. Submitting my final exam, knowing that I’ve got three whole months before I have to turn in another dreaded assignment, is liberating. But six weeks later, here I am submitting another assignment to a professor. Let’s be real, I couldn’t survive three weeks without something to keep my mind occupied.
This summer, I’m taking two classes. After taking four years of Spanish classes in high school, I’ve decided that I would like to achieve fluency in the language. So, I decided to register for a summer session at a local Spanish school. I like the class because it’s provided me the opportunity to learn in a stress-free environment. Because I didn’t take the class through a university and there are no graded assignments, there is no pressure. I have the privilege of learning for the sole purpose of learning.
I’m also taking a Microbiology class. This one is led by a university, so it does impact my grade point average and the credit hours count toward my nursing major. I think it will be an interesting class. It will definitely come with more stress than the Spanish class, but the alternative is taking the challenging course in the spring, alongside five other classes. So, the summer session it is.
A few weeks ago, I realized that I needed to introduce something new to my self-care routine. I can’t spend too many hours in the gym or more money on massages, and Netflix can become mind-numbing for an antsy person like myself. Learning – while it can be overwhelming and entirely draining at times – is somehow exactly what I needed this summer. I recognized a need for mental stimulation and challenge. That being said, I’m glad that I’m only responsible for taking two classes. Any more than that would be too much. Instead of learning for fun, the course-load would have been more of a stressor.
Part of what I like about summer learning is the environment. The Spanish class, as I mentioned, is hosted at a local Spanish school, but the Microbiology class is online, so I get to choose my classroom. I’ve been to Starbucks twice this week to sit down with a coffee and my laptop. Today, I went to a public library that I hadn’t before visited! Furthermore, I can choose when I’d like to learn (to some extent – there are due dates). I don’t have to worry about being late to an 8:00am class. Instead, I can sleep in a bit, sit down for breakfast, maybe run some errands, and then do school work. This is the first class I’ve taken online, but I already like the class style and flexibility!
So far, taking summer classes has been an overall positive experience (although, I will admit to having skipped one of my evening Spanish classes due to having thrown in the towel after a long day). The Spanish class is about halfway complete, but Microbiology runs until August, concluding just at the start of fall classes. The last thing that I want is to go into a new semester already burnt out! Thankfully, I have been fairly mindful about taking time for self-care amidst my responsibilities at work, school, and in life. So, I’m hopeful that I will go into the fall semester refreshed and ready to take on another year of nursing school!
Peace and hugs!