Summer Classes: Tips for Keeping Up With Compressed Courses

Stay intense and focused in order to be successful in summer courses.

Stay intense and focused in order to be successful in summer courses.

Another academic year has ended. For many students, that means it’s time to hit the beaches and enjoy the all the sun-filled fun summer has to offer.

For others, the end of spring semester means the beginning of summer classes. Summer classes are quick, fast paced, and demanding.
There are a number of reasons you may consider taking summer classes.

You could be using this time to focus in on a difficult course. You may be trying to graduate early. Or you may have fallen behind in your degree plan and need to catch up with summer classes.

Regardless of your particular reason for taking summer classes, you’ll want to follow the following tips to make sure you’re successful:

1. Make a Weekly Study Schedule And Stick to it

This is something you should be doing during any semester. But summer courses move much quickly. You cannot afford to fall behind. If you’re going to hit the library every Tuesday and Thirsday night, for example, put that on your calendar, and don’t let anything keep you from these study sessions.

Falling a week behind in the summer is equivalent to falling almost two weeks behind during the normal school year.

2. Don’t Overload Yourself.

I can’t tell you how many students I’ve seen torpedo their own success in the summer by loading up on too many classes.

I know, you’re Pre-med, you’re trying to graduate next year, you need to retake the class you failed last semester, your advisor thinks it’s a good idea for you take 15 credits…

If you end up overloading, and subsequently do worse in ALL the courses you take, wouldn’t it have been better to just take a couple and pass them with flying colors?

Now, I’m not saying you definitely cannot ace 6 classes during the summer if you really apply yourself. But be realistic with yourself. Give yourself the best possible opportunity for success and take the amount of classes that’s best for you.

3. Plan Your Fun

No summer is complete without a trip to the beach!

No summer is complete without a trip to the beach!

We all need time to decompress. That’s normal, even if you are taking summer classes. Just make sure you plan your trips and activities around your studies.

Talk to your professors if you’re going to miss class for some reason. Maybe they can allow you to take a quiz early or give you an idea of what to study while you’re gone.

The important thing is to PLAN your fun. Don’t recklessly miss class, forget homework assignments, and flake on your study groups.

4. Hang Out With Students Who Are Also Taking Summer Classes

This is a big one. Many of your friends will be taking the summer off to relax and have a good time. You can have fun with them, but you’ve got to remain focused on your studies too.

Also, you may have friends who are working. They may get off at 5pm each day. You may still need to attend class or go to the library in the evenings.

Find a group of dedicated students to hang out with. You can form a summer study group. You guys don’t necessarily all have to be in the same classes, but your study group could be more of an accountability group. Everyone encourages one another to study for a certain amount each week.

5. Get Plenty Of Rest, and Eat Energy Foods

I don’t know about you, but I have a really short attention span. Summer class lectures can be anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours! That’s a long time to stay engaged.

These lectures are packed with material and you need to be taking notes and paying attention the entire time. Professors will probably not have time to go back and review much due to the shorter semester length.

Make sure you’re resting and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables so that you’re as attentive as possible. If you’re not a morning person and you like to stay up partying in the summer, you probably shouldn’t schedule a 7:30am class.

Select your foods wisely. You do not need to be on a diet or be a nutrition expert (I certainly am not!). Just try to choose snacks that are light and healthy throughout the day. And limit your intake of pizza, which is very plenteous on college campuses during the summer.



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