1,000 more students than last year enroll in summer classes, say it gives needed structure


File illustration by Emma Ruck

Summer 2020 classes come with a considerable change in format and number of students.

Daniel DeMonte, Reporter

Summer is traditionally a time when many college students get out of the classroom. That being said, summer 2020 is shaping up to be a bit different.

A University spokesperson told The Daily that 2,992 Northwestern and visiting students are enrolled in summer classes this year, up from the 1,541 students enrolled at this time last year. Many students’ may have been compelled to register due to cancellation or delay of summer plans.

Medill sophomore Navpreet Sekhon said she never thought of summer classes as an option until this year. While Sekhon said she finds it hard to spend a long time staring at a computer screen, when a research grant she hoped to receive did not pan out, she decided to develop a new plan.

“I never even considered the idea of taking classes until I realized that I could do that,” Sekhon said. “It was a very, very, very backup plan.”

Similarly, Weinberg sophomore Sarah Eisenman decided to take summer classes when her research program abroad in Switzerland got rescheduled to next summer.

Eisenman, however, sees these summer classes as a way to lighten her workload when classes do eventually return to in-person instruction. Doing this will also allow time and space to adjust back to in-person classes, she said, whenever they do start.

“For my own mental health and wellbeing, (I) need to ease up on myself and probably take only three classes this Fall Quarter no matter what, even if it is in person,” Eisenman said.

As of Thursday night, NU has still not announced an official plan for Fall Quarter instruction.

This summer, all classes will be offered remotely, giving students more flexibility than in years past. In addition to the usual class offerings, a University spokesperson told The Daily that Northwestern is offering undergraduate computer science classes, as well as new classes in journalism, education, sociology and philosophy.

Although the online format of these classes has its drawbacks, the ability to take any class virtually has its appeal for students trying to fill a distribution, major and minor requirements.

SESP first-year Neva Legallet said she is using summer classes to fill requirements so she can jump back into classes for her major and minor that she enjoys and would rather take in person. Legallet said she sees the situation as a unique opportunity after she decided to not continue her job virtually.

She added that she was disappointed at the lack of selection that NU has offered for Summer 2020 despite the new class additions.

“Maybe it was more specifically because of my interests, but I just felt as though the classes being offered weren’t even close to indicative to what Northwestern usually has,” Legallet said.

Email: [email protected]

Related Stories:
Summer Undergraduate Research Grant recipients adapt to social distancing
Students navigate an evolving job market and the potential of a summer unemployed
Bright: Don’t worry too much about what you’re doing this summer