Your friends may be off on awesome summer vacays or interning with their dream job, but you are, unfortunately, stuck back in the classroom getting your summer classes done with. Total bummer. However, it’s not all that bad. There are some pluses of taking summer classes like saving cash on regular tuition or potentially graduating early. If you’re struggling to see the positives of sacrificing your break for a few course credits, here’s six steps for surviving summer classes.
Step 1: Make a Vision Board
Sometimes the best way to see the forest through the trees is to visualize the end game. Get a little arts and craftsy by creating a vision board (or even just a vision piece of paper) that spells out why you are in class during the summer. For example, snap out pictures that convey graduating debt free or early or what you would look like in that high-paying first job. Keep it in your wallet or near the door so you can see it before you head to school.
Step 2: Cut Out Procrastination
Here’s your summer motto: “Get your stuff done now so you can party later.” Most summer classes don’t last the entire break or at least have a week or so off for you to enjoy. You’re going to want to maximize that time by having everything, including final papers, presentations, group work, etc., done way ahead of time. This way you can lounge on the beach for a few extra days while your classmates struggle to meet the deadline.
Step 3: Give Yourself a Break
If you’re not in class every day, be sure to take off one or two days for summer fun. If possible, don’t touch your school work. Don’t study, and don’t even think about classes. Instead, turn it into your special summer weekend and plan your warm weather adventures around it. You’ll thank yourself for adding a little R&R between classes.
Step 4: Be Realistic With Your Classes
It’s still early on in the summer semester, so you may have some flexibility to drop if necessary. The truth is that there are a lot of summer distractions, and unless you’re fully committed, you could put yourself in jeopardy if you take on too much work. Pick your summer course schedule so you can pass your classes, boost your GPA, and pick up whatever skills you need. Don’t take any course that is too challenging or not absolutely needed.
Step 5: Make It Social
If you’re taking summer classes with a friend or are making friends in your course, create some opportunities to mix business with pleasure. Start a study session around the pool. Go to the beach to review over your notes. Quiz one another while getting late night ice cream. That way, you’ll kill two birds with one stone.
Step 6: Catch Some Sunshine During Class
Summer classes are usually scheduled for longer blocks of time. Some are even all day! This is good and bad news. On one hand, you’ll get your class done and over with quickly. On the other, you’ll be stuck in a classroom all day. To survive this type of summer class, be sure to take advantage of longer in-class breaks to go outside, stretch your legs, and soak in the sun.
Summer classes are survivable if you schedule them correctly. Be sure to add some time to relax and have fun, and always remember the benefits when times get tough. By doing these steps, you can make summer semester work for you.