CU in the summer

The end of the year is on its way, and students are making their summer plans. The thought of summer alone can make it difficult to concentrate and cram for exams. Students are high on test anxiety, and many professors are scrambling to submit grades.

After final exams are complete, most students and professors pack up their belongings and head home. As they are taking their breaks from the campus, admitted students are attending orientation sessions that are happening all summer long.

Not only does standard orientation for admitted freshmen take place, but CU Boulder also offers summer study programs for high school students that haven’t graduated. High schoolers are given the opportunity to choose from a wide range of classes, including math, art, science, theater and music. The programs last three to five weeks and provide teens with a chance to get a preview of college life while still participating in Coloradan summer activities such as hiking, biking, tennis and basketball.

Many current CU students are choosing to move back home for the time period.

“I’m going home to enjoy my summer and relax,” said Brandyn Federico, a 20-year-old sophomore majoring in integrative physiology.

Other Buffs will use their summers to earn credits toward graduation. Maymester, an intensive three week session that enables students to finish one class in a shorter amount of time, is one option students can explore. The classes are longer per day, which allows for exceptional discussions in the classroom. Maymester allows students to earn a core or elective credit and still have time to enjoy summer and play in the sun.

Faculty-in-Residence Summer Term, also known as FIRST, is a unique experience in which faculty from learning institutions like the University of London, the University of California and the University of Valencia visit CU. While in Boulder, the guest staff teach courses for CU students. FIRST may be a good opportunity to expand perspectives while learning from international and out of state professors.

Including Maymester and FIRST, there are over 500 courses offered during the summer at CU to attract many different students who want to earn credits without all the commotion during the fall and spring semesters. Freshman Zach Secunda is contemplating taking a couple of the classes offered.

“I think campus is pretty quiet and chill,” said Secunda, a 19-year-old integrative physiology major. “I was thinking about doing summer classes to focus on more specific classes. It won’t be as stressful, and I feel like it would be more of a personal approach with your professors.”

Most students are eager to leave the CU campus, including 18-year-old Nicole Recinos, an open option major.

“Since I am a freshman, I want to see my friends and my family,” Recinos said. “I miss my home. I’m going home, back to the Hamptons, and going to the beach and the city.”

In the meantime, while students are going about their summers, Boulder hosts numerous events for students looking for a  break from summer classes.

The annual Boulder Creek Festival, which includes food, music and carnival attractions, runs May 25 to 27.

For those athletes out there, the Bolder Boulder 10k race, which takes place on May 27, will have side-line entertainment. Runners and families also get to embrace Boulder’s natural habitat. Along with the race and festivities, concerts will periodically happen over the course of the summer.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mary-Lynn Elliott at

Mary-Lynn Elliott

Mary-Lynn Elliott is a sophomore at the University of Colorado preparing to study journalism. Many would know her as May. In her free time, she writes, sings, draws and drinks coffee. She is obsessed with New York City and hopes to be a columnist and comedian one day. Contact Staff Writer Mary-Lynn Elliott at,

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