Taking classes during the Summer is a great way to get ahead on your credits or explore subjects that you would not otherwise be able to fit into an already-packed schedule. It is also, in my experience, a very not great way to spend a Summer.

As a GECS major, I am required to take Introductory Chemistry 1 and Chemistry Lab. For someone who becomes catatonic at the sight of basic algebra and can under no conditions be relied upon to perform precise measurements or calculations, those courses act as a virtually guaranteed GPA killer. So, taking Chem and Chem Lab during the summer at my local community college – where the lack of a Hopkins GPA made the courses essentially pass-fail – seemed like a perfect option for me

Spoiler alert; it was not the perfect option for me.

For the past four weeks, my life has been entirely consumed by chemistry. Virtually all of my waking hours consist of learning chemistry, studying chemistry, and complaining about chemistry. To give you idea of just how much time I spend on chemistry, here is a quick breakdown of the course.

  • 5 hours a day
  • 5 days a week
  • 25 hours a week
  • 6 weeks
  • 150 hours total

You read that right, five hours a day, every day of the week (excluding weekends), for six weeks. Those numbers don’t even include the amount of time I spend studying and preparing lab-reports and pre-labs, which I would estimate to be around four hours a day. So, the updated tally of hours looks something like this.

  • 9 hours a day
  • 5 days a week
  • 45 hours a week
  • 6 weeks
  • 270 hours total (!!)

270 hours – thats 143 hours longer than James Franco spent stuck at the bottom of a ravine before he had to cut his arm off. Other periods of time that 270 hours is longer than include;

  • 11 days (264 hours)
  • The number of flying hours required to become a commercial airline pilot (250 hours)
  • The longest continuous length of time spent awake (264.4 hours by teenager Randy Gardner in 1964)
  • The amount of time it would take to drive across Canada and back, and then across again (around 240 hours).

Put differently, if I did not have to dedicate 270 hours to chemistry class, I could;

  • Go to the moon on the Apollo 11 spacecraft, spend 148 hours there, and return to Earth
  • Enjoy a relaxing 11 day Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines™
  • Recruit 11 friends and break the record for the longest hockey game ever played (currently set at 250 hours).
  • Become a licensed phlebotomist (Training takes around 240 hours – leaving me 30 hours to find out what a phlebotomist is).

Instead of all of those wonderful and deserving pursuits, though, I am taking chemistry. Oh well, maybe next Summer.