School’s Out for Summer

May 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Parents, you’ve survived another academic year at Michigan Tech! For some of you, this may have been the first year that your student was in college, while others may be seasoned veterans. In either case, I hope this was a smooth and memorable year for everyone! I’d also like to thank all of you, the parents and family of Michigan Tech’s students for your support and encouragement — your students’ success is in part due to their connection with you.

Caps off to the class of 2013!

The last couple of weeks have been exceptionally busy with final exams, commencement, moving, and all of the other end-of-the-year tasks. Now it’s all over and the sun is finally shining in Houghton! Some of your students may be spending the summer in Houghton — taking courses, working, or just exploring the area and taking some time to relax.

Track A summer courses will begin on Monday, May 13. Many students take advantage of summer courses to catch up or get ahead in their degree plans. Summer courses are also a good way to lighten the load during the academic year. It’s often a benefit to take classes in the summer because there are fewer extracurricular commitments to balance and there is more time to just focus on classes and studying.

I’ve personally taken summer courses the past two years at Michigan Tech, and I’ve really enjoyed the experience! However, there are a few important things to note about summer courses that can really impact how well (or not) the summer goes. Since the summer semester is divided into two tracks, classes last only seven weeks as opposed to the usual fourteen weeks. This means that classes normally meet four days per week (Monday through Thursday) for about an hour and a half. It also means that the pace is a bit faster than classes during the academic year. Homework or readings may be assigned one day and due the next, so it’s important to stay on top of things!

Despite the fast-paced academics, summer courses offer an opportunity to explore all of the wonders the Houghton area and the Keweenaw have to offer. Since the summer semester offers three-day weekends, there is still plenty of time to have some fun and enjoy the warm weather between classes. There are also some fun local traditions and celebrations that take place during the summer. From Bridgefest and the Strawberry Festival, to the Canal Run and Fourth of July events, there are plenty of ways for summer students to connect with the community and enjoy themselves. I can say from personal experience that a Houghton summer is something that every student should try to experience at least once during their Michigan Tech career.

Other students may have chosen to return home for the summer. Hopefully you notice some changes in your student since they went away back in August. College is a time of great change and growth for students as they explore who they are and begin to establish their independent identities. I know that living on my own made a huge difference in who I was and how I viewed myself, and it changed my relationship with my parents in (mostly) positive ways! I say mostly because there was some tension when I went home for my first summer because I was used to living by my own rules and my parents weren’t really sure how to interact with the new me.

Needless to say we both adjusted to one another and things were once again awesome in our household — it just took a little figuring out! If you notice some tension with your student or changes in them, don’t worry! This is totally natural and is just them finding their independence. Try your best to accept these changes and talk with them about their experiences since they’ve been away from home. This will help to ensure that you and your student will have a fun and relaxing summer together!

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