There are lots of reasons to take classes over the summer.
Maybe you’re looking to make up some classes or fulfill a prerequisite. Maybe you just want to graduate that much faster.
Or, maybe you prefer the more relaxed atmosphere of summer and find it works better for your schedule to take a lighter load all year.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to take your classes seriously! Summer classes count toward your degree, and focusing on your studies will help you to reach your goals.
Even though summer school has a different feel and rhythm from the rest of the school year, it’s important to stay structured.
Setting a new routine and strategizing before the summer term begins will set you up for success.
According to a 2017 study from Stanford, strategically studying can help boost your test grades by an average of a third of one letter grade! That adds up to a more successful term and better grades overall.
So, how should you prepare? Well, everyone’s different and it’s important to find a strategy that works for you and your personality.
Here are 3 tips to consider as you consider your study plan of attack for this summer:
1. Set Your Goals
Many students never consider their goals for a given semester or quarter. Why? Because it’s assumed that the goal is simply to pass.
But that’s not enough if you truly want to make your time in classes count. You need a personal goal that will motivate you to keep going!
Think about why you’re taking summer classes in the first place.
Is your goal to earn a degree so you can pursue your dream career? If so, are grades important for the next step? Or do you simply need to earn credits?
Many people take summer classes to improve their GPA by retaking a class. Others are more focused on simply learning a new and valuable skill.
Figure out what’s really important to you so you can work toward it throughout the summer. If you don’t have a clear goal, you’ll be less motivated and probably more stressed out.
2. Keep to a Schedule
Getting organized is important, especially when it comes to summer classes.
The summer term is often accelerated, and it can be tough on your comprehension and grades to miss a class, a quiz, or a homework assignment. Once you get your syllabus, create a schedule and stick to it.
Depending on your schedule and other responsibilities, you might not have much time to spare for studying.
If you work or care for children, you might have to get creative with your scheduling and be as organized as possible.
Try to give yourself some built-in buffer time for any meltdowns or crises that might derail you from your studies.
It’s important to know your own habits and to set yourself up for success.
If you’re a night person, you might be more successful in carving out your study time after dinner. If you’re an early bird, a quiet, before-breakfast schedule might be better.
Don’t create a schedule that will be difficult for you to follow!
3. Take Advantage of ALL the Resources
Did you know that there are tons of resources online that can help you get through tough classes?
Many students don’t even think to seek out additional resources from their school or online, meaning that they miss out on some of the support and help that’s available.
For instance, if you’re taking a difficult math class and need some extra help, there are free and inexpensive tutorials and tools available to help you work through challenging homework assignments and test prep.
If you’re struggling, always start with the assumption that there’s a resource out there to help you, whether it’s available from your school or online.
Ask your professor first if you’re struggling, of course, but it’s always a good idea to see if your school offers additional tools and resources as well.
Don’t get discouraged—you can find the support you need!
Summer Classes: Helping You to Reach Your Goals
When the weather is nice, it takes dedication to concentrate on your studies.
Keep thinking about your larger goals when you start to feel bored or frustrated and just keep going.
And remember: no one will mind if you take your textbook out into the sunshine for a study session!