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Shortened summer break impacts students’ plans, summer classes, jobs, internships

Summertime for many college students is a time to travel, work at internships or even take a few extra classes. For many Ohio State students, however, options are running short this summer.

OSU students are adjusting their plans due to a shortened summer break, which has made it more difficult for some to get jobs, to go on vacations and even take summer classes.
Because OSU is transitioning from quarters to semesters, summer break will be shortened to a little more than 10 weeks from what would normally be about 15 weeks, to allow for a readjustment of the university’s regular school schedule.

Jobs are taking the largest hit this summer, with many students reporting either an inability to get a job, or a lack of effort to find one due to an expectation that jobs will be unwilling to hire students for such a short period of time.

“We get out late, so all of the jobs are taken,” said Charles Altizer, a first-year in business administration. “We don’t have the advantage of being able to stay at work longer than other people, so we have less time to work.”

Alex Tranovich, a first-year in psychology, said he chose to not even pursue a job, but to take summer classes instead.

“I probably would’ve tried to get a job,” Tranovich said. “I’m still in that process of maybe getting a job. Most places don’t want to hire you for seven weeks, or even 10 weeks. For one summer it shouldn’t be too bad.”

For those students who do have jobs, the shortened summer has forced them to work tighter schedules and forgo vacations and family visits. Zach Haldeman, a first-year in English and Spanish, said he plans to work all through summer, without taking time for vacation.

“I plan to just work all summer, as much as I can,” Haldeman said. “I feel like I have to work as much as I can because of the shortened summer, so I don’t have time to visit family.”

Perhaps a more serious issue is for those planning to take summer classes. Joanna Spanos, College of Arts and Sciences counselor, said the tightened schedule means that students will take fewer summer classes. As a result, fewer students will be eligible for summer financial aid.

“To receive aid, you have to have a certain number of credit hours,” Spanos said. “Taking a full load in seven weeks is a lot. For their academic well-being, a lot of students are avoiding that.”

Spanos went on to say that students taking summer classes at universities elsewhere will also have difficulty, due to an incomplete understanding of how credits from these universities will transfer over to OSU during semesters.

Tranovich said the shortened summer and the tightened workload of this summer’s classes affected his decision on the number of classes he signed up for.

“Instead of taking five like I had originally planned to, I’m taking two and doing research for credit,” Tranovich said.

For some students, however, the shortened summer hasn’t been as consequential.

Olivia Stanley, a second-year in agribusiness and applied economics, for instance, said she is still finding ways to explore and travel this summer despite the restricted schedule that the university has put her on.

“I plan on having an internship with a Fair Trade shop this summer,” Stanley said. “I also have a couple of weddings to go to and I’m going on a couple of vacations, and I’m going to see my brother in Washington, D.C.”

But she said she would have planned even more if the summer had been longer.

“I would probably be going to more places,” Stanley said. “I like to travel a lot. I’m going to a lot of concerts, and I like doing that, but I’d like to go to more. “

Maggie King, a second-year in psychology, said her plans have also changed. A member of campus Christian group H20, King said she normally joins them on their retreats in the summer. This year, however, the group does not have enough time to execute its normal plans.

“Last summer we went to Colorado for a retreat, but this summer we can’t go out there, and we can’t go anywhere else, so we have to do it here,” she said.

Altizer said he has come to accept the disadvantages that come with the shortened summer.

“I think a lot of people are kind of accepting it,” Altizer said. “We already know we are going to be at a disadvantage, and for the most part, most people accepted that we don’t have the same advantages as other schools right now.”

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