Before starting my summer, I decided to enroll in Maymester: a three-week course session right at the beginning of the summer. I knew NC State offered these and this was my first summer class ever. I know what you’re thinking, “who wants to take a fast-paced class at the beginning of summer?” To answer you: I think Maymester is underrated and more people should be taking advantage of this option at NC State.
One thing that’s great about Maymester classes is that there’s a wide variety of courses available that one can take. For example, I took ENG 340: Literature, Art and Society, in which we focused on hell, heaven and the afterlife. If you don't enjoy literature, don’t worry! There are also classes in the humanities, visual and performing arts, health and exercise and more. Many of the classes fulfill GEP requirements most students need to graduate, so it is so convenient to get done with these courses ahead of time instead of waiting the semester before graduation.
They also aren’t that hard to get into. Since Maymester is not a session a lot of students are interested in because it does start soon after spring semester, the classes are easier to find. I was on the waitlist for ENG 340, but after a day of waiting, I was enrolled. Also, this may be an unpopular opinion, but Maymester allows for more summer free time than does Summer Session I and II. Summer Session I has two sessions; one consisting of ten weeks, the other with five. With a three-week session, you can get a three-credit course done just like that.
NC State’s blog about Summer Sessions highlights some huge benefits of Maymester and the other sessions as well. When I was choosing a Maymester class, I was worried about going in-person because I work part time as a server at a restaurant. Luckily, many of the courses offered are online, and anywhere I could sit down, I could work. The flexibility of all these different sessions and courses allows for students to see which time period works best for them. It also allows for them to work around whatever else they have going on in their summer plans.
Another nice thing about Maymester was getting to meet a small group of people in such a fast-paced environment. During my class, I got to engage with many individuals through our discussion forum posts about readings from class. Lastly, I had an amazing experience with Professor Timothy Stinson for ENG 340. Since this was my first time taking a Maymester class, I was overwhelmed by the second day of class with the amount of reading the course entailed.
Of course, I knew it was going to be difficult, but at the same time, Professor Stinson was very understanding. There was one weekend of the course where I was exhausted from working at my part-time job and I didn’t have the energy to finish an assignment due the following day. Professor Stinson understood and let me turn in the assignment two days later.
Since Maymester is over now, I can safely say that I would definitely take another course like this next summer. Yes, it’s stressful, but at the end of the day, fitting a semester’s work into three weeks is meant to be overwhelming. If you like getting things done quickly and easily, take a Maymester class in the future. Your degree audit will thank you.