As summer approaches, Montclair State University’s students, faculty and staff are reflecting on their feelings about the end of the semester and upcoming break. Students expressed excitement for nicer weather and trips to the beach, while faculty members look forward to having more time to work on projects outside of school.
When asked about her feelings regarding the summer, Teofilea Valencia, a junior theater major, shared that she was excited to relax in the sun.
“The positives include the beach,” Valencia said. “They include a more relaxed schedule.”
While Valencia said she was excited for some fun in the sun, she also said that she will still be doing work for her summer classes despite not being in a classroom setting.
“I am going to take a lot of online classes, so dealing with that without the structure of school might be a little difficult,” Valencia said.
The end of the semester affects every department of Montclair State differently. While students feel a mixture of stress from the end-of-the-year rush and excitement for the warmer weather, some employees said they have more work to do at this time of the year.
The library staff at Montclair State said they are significantly busier during the end of the year.
According to Lindsay Williams, a student worker at the library front desk, many students wait until this time of year to return their books.
“A lot of books get returned at the end of the semester, so it tends to be very busy,” Williams said.
Williams also pointed out how the upcoming final exams give students greater motivation to come to the library and study.
“Also, with finals coming up, there [are] people coming in and out all day and bigger crowds,” Williams said.
Justin Savage, a part-time reference librarian, explained that part-time library staff does not work summers.
“So there’s a handful of reference librarians that are part-time like myself. And we, because of the limited sort of coverage over the summer, we don’t work over the summer,” Savage said. “So I will be back in the fall.”
In addition to students and employees, professors at Montclair State also had some insight regarding the upcoming summer.
Mark Hardy, an associate professor of theater, explained how his students are affected by the end of the school year and how some professors like him often spend their summers.
Hardy clarified that although summer classes are an option for some departments, not all courses are offered over the summer.
“I don’t tend to teach summer school because we don’t really offer any in-person summer classes in my program,” Hardy said.
Hardy pointed out that many students often feel stressed before summer and dread the end of the year due to final exams and projects.
“Definitely the end of the semester is very stressful,” Hardy said.
He also emphasized the intensity of the workload for students in his department.
“Not only do [students] have finals and final papers, but they have to prepare auditions for the following fall and they also have to do a lot of performance juries, which are like performance finals,” Hardy said.
Although he will not be teaching any summer classes, Hardy said that he and many other professors will still be keeping busy this summer with projects and performances.
“A lot of us are also artists directing [and] performing various things within the field,” Hardy said. “So, I will be away doing some creative work over the summer.”
Despite the end of the semester workload, Montclair State is excited to be getting ready for summertime.
“I’m excited for the warm weather,” Valencia said. “I don’t really have a job lined up, but I’m just really excited to have a break from school and for the weather.”