Spring forward with a spring course

Kathryn, a second-year student, guides you through the many reasons why you should consider a spring course.



YouAlberta is written by students for students.

Kathryn (she/her) is a third year Political Science major. Kathryn is an avid reader who always has a New Yorker magazine in her bag.

Spring is (fingers crossed) quickly approaching, and although the finish line for this term is not quite visible, rumblings of spring courses have started up around campus—and for good reason! Whether you are looking to lighten your upcoming course load or cross off lingering degree requirements, a spring course is a valuable academic tool. And not that it's a competition, but a quiet campus in full bloom is quite possibly the best version of the U of A. 

Spring courses have an edge that the fall and winter terms lack. We've already touched on the aesthetic element, which can't be underestimated, but the timeframe of spring courses alone offers a unique learning experience. Spring courses, much like the season itself, are over soon after they have begun. Though to the lament of some, the condensed nature of the term functions as a sort of bootcamp for procrastinators. If you're a student who is routinely indecisive about essay topics or can be a little too precious with their brainstorming process, twenty-four-hour deadlines are a fantastic remedy. They say if you want something done, give it to a busy person—the same goes for a spring term student. 

Another element of novelty the spring semester offers is its reprieve from the usual hustle and bustle of campus life. If you're new to campus, looking to explore that one building you've been meaning to check out or finally try out those pedway shortcuts, this is the perfect time to get even more familiar with your surroundings. Recent years of alternating between in-person and online learning have made many students apprehensive of an in-person setting. As a student whose first year ended up being entirely online, my spring semester was a great way to not only ease into campus but grow more comfortable and confident in a university classroom setting. The more intimate setting of these courses adds yet another element of novelty to the spring semester.

Fulfilling academic requirements, including those you are not too keen to complete, is a rewarding part of being a student. Not only is the spring semester a great opportunity to get into classes that are otherwise difficult to get into, but it is always a great time to tackle that looming language requirement or whatever else it is you've been avoiding.

And maybe it's that fact that the sun isn't setting when you walk out of your last lecture, but a spring semester also seems to provide the extra gumption necessary to take on a more daunting class. For me this was the fourth-year course I took during my first spring semester. Getting through a condensed semester strengthened my academic skills and confidence; the lesson here is that if you have the requirements, go for it! As a first-year student, I was still quite new to campus (and university in general) at this time, and my spring semester gave me the perfect opportunity to feel much more settled. 

That's what this time is for: getting ahead, catching up, and ultimately getting one step closer to earning your degree—start today by searching for spring courses!