Summer schedule

So hey guys, let me ask you something…if you could take two out of three of the intro bio classes during the summer then physics/orgo during the school year, or take two out of three of the physics classes during the summer and bio/orgo during the school year, which do you think would be better and why?

I took summer Bio, and it worked pretty well for me. I’d lean towards that, as well. Bio I is going to be mostly rote memorization. Physics is more conceptual, so if the pace does trip you up, you’re in a worse position.

This is only my feeling, but I feel that Physics and Organic chemistry (especially O. Chem) should be done in a regular school semester versus biology which I wouold venture during the summer.


Hmm, so let me ask you guys this…if you had to take bio 3 w/lab, physics 1 w/lab, and orgo 1 w/lab all in the same quarter, think it’d be feasible to do one shift (12 hours) per week or would it be best for my sanity/grades to not work during that quarter given that I’ll be taking 3 lab science classes?

It’s really hard to say, Tim. Part of it depends on how time intensive the labs and their accompanying reports are and part of it depends on how much effort you have to put into the non-lab portion of the class in order to do well. I took bio w/lab, physics w/lab, calculus, and gen chem w/lab and worked 20 - 30 hours a week. But, bio lab was pretty much just show up and look attentive for 3 hours and physics lab was a joke. Of all the labs, I found organic lab and its requisite reports to be the most brutal.

If it were me, I’d probably work the one 12 hour shift in a week as long as I had the option to drop it if I found everything to be a bit much.


I think its feasable depending when you take it. If you are going to take it during the regular school year when its not accelerated, it shouldn’t be too bad. When I was an undergrad I took more courses and worked 20 hours as a workstudy student. If you are going to take that during the summer though where everything is accelerated and you are doing a chapter/lab per day - I would not work and might even considering dropping one course (for me it would be orgo).

Naw, I wouldn’t be doing orgo/physics/bio w/lab during the summer…that’s just suicide. it’d be during the normal school year. I figured it would be feasible since 12 hours isn’t that much; I just thought getting some second opinions would be a good idea since I’ve been wrong before about estimating courseloads…


I think a large portion of this boils down to putting yourself in the best possible position to succeed. Having taken physics myself, I will tell you that anything math based in a summer term such as physics/calculus/gen chem is going to be brutal for the average student like myself. If you are confident in your ability to do well in the analytical subjects under pressure, then the summer term may be an option for you. But just be forewarned that you’re going to be battling two enemies: the material itself AND the pace of the course. You may very well grasp the material, but the pace at which you are expected to retain & perform the given tasks in the chapters may very well stall you. If you feel that you learn by memorization & conceptual comprehension, then I’d say take the Bio & lab in the summer term. Remember, courses like Physics are both analytical & conceptual in nature and require lots of thought, whereas Bio itself is mainly a memorization of concepts course.

Also, in regards to Orgo in the summer term, I spoke with an aquaintance of mine on campus who took Orgo I in the summer of this year with the lab and he said it was 8 weeks of unabashed, absolute, pure hell. He said that he has been a great memorizer and an excellent student since his formative years, but the pace at which the material was thrown at him was just unspeakable. He said that he ended up studying roughly 3-4 hours per day on top of his 3 hour class, 4 days per week, plus about 3-4 hours twice a week writing lab reports for the lab portion. Exams every Friday, labs twice a week. He said that at the end of the term, he ended up with a A- in Orgo I which he was happy with, but it cost him his job (he had to quit to keep up with the load), strained his relationship with his long-time girlfriend and took every ounce of energy that he had to absorb the material at hand. His response to me when I asked him about taking it in the summer was: “I have absolutely no idea why Orgo is even offered in the summer. You’re not really learning, you’re just simply trying to ‘sponge-up’ the information to regurgitate it on an exam. There is no way possible if you’re going to take Organic in the summer for you to take anything else other than it. I would never, ever attempt it again in the summer term. It cost me a great deal and in the end, I was nowhere near confident enough headed into Organic II and it cost me a lot of time having to go back and review Orgo I topics & material for the Orgo II course.”

So to synthesize here, if you’re only going to take Organic & the lab in the summer term and you have no other obligations to tend to (ie-work or personal commitments) and you feel like you’re up for the task, then go for it. However, Bio I and the lab along with another course would be a bit more profitable and a better use of time for the average student, in my opinion.