Summer School Survival Tips


If I seem silent lately, it’s because I have very little time to blog…or sleep! I decided to take two summer classes in order to alleviate my course-load during the fall. Yes, I had good intentions but now I am not as thrilled as I was going in. I know I can’t be the only person who has felt this way and I have already come to several realizations as to how I could have made this easier on myself. So, here are 5 tips for surviving summer school.

1. If you have a break between spring and summer — read ahead. Yes, I said it!  Take the time to read material ahead, especially if you are taking a class that requires a lot of reading like a literature course. Summer school goes by so quickly that you don’t have a lot of spare time to read lengthy material. I know it may seem like your professor is being mean, but they are required to assign you readings so you just have to learn to adapt to the situation.

2. Plan vacations before and after summer school, not during. This may seem impossible and maybe it is for you, but if you have any way of not leaving town during your class, take that route. You are taking a class that was meant to be taken at a length between 10-16 weeks in a very condensed amount of time — don’t underestimate how quickly that time will fly by. Also, you don’t want to put a damper on your trip by having to do homework (or at least worrying about doing homework). If you go before or after your class you will have a much better vacation than if you take it during summer classes.

3. Do. NOT. Procrastinate. Seriously, I can’t stress that enough. Every week you need to make a plan and stick to it. It’s not like the normal semester where you can lounge around for a few days before beginning your assignments — you need to keep up with the routine and push on through!

4. On the same note, still stop and make time for yourself and your family. Even (and especially) in a short summer session course you need to take a breather. Do not run yourself into the ground by staying up all hours of the night in order to finish the work. I know it may seem impossible to fit everything into your day but if you just work a little most days and a lot on a few days you will feel better and get everything done.

5. Don’t take the hardest class in your major. Seriously. I had this idea that if I took the hardest class by itself it would allow me to dedicate all of my time to the class. However, because there is such a rigid schedule I don’t even have time to have time! Keep in mind that even though the class is half or even one-quarter the length of a regular session class they still have to make sure to cover all of the student learning outcomes. Instead, take that difficult class in the semester you seem to do better in if possible (some people thrive in the fall and have trouble in the spring and vice versa).

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