How to Make the Most Out of Summer School

For many college students, summer school is an easy decision. If you’re looking to graduate early or if you have a large load of credits to accomplish before you graduate, summer school might seem like a no-brainer.

The fact of the matter is that summer is a wonderful time to squeeze in some extra classes if necessary; however, there’s no getting around it: if you’re sitting in class throughout June and July, you’re more than likely not tanning at the pool or traveling with friends and family. So! How can you make the most out of summer school?

Since you’re sacrificing precious vacation time to be educated, garner credits, and work toward your degree, it’s important to make the most of your time in summer school. We’ve compiled some ideas to help you stay focused and make that time in school during the summer months truly worth it.

1. Stay organized

It’s easy to let loose in the summer and stop keeping track of commitments. However, it’s particularly important to stay organized during the summer when you’re in class, juggling homework and papers, and studying for tests. Make sure to sync your social calendar and school calendar so you’re able to leave enough space for homework and studying. It’s important that you have some time to rest and be with friends, but you don’t want to overdo it and leave your school commitments until the last minute.

Many summer classes have an accelerated pace, so be sure to take a look at your syllabus and plot out important dates ahead of time. Don’t forget to include your work shifts, trips, fun events and other important things as you create your master calendar. It can be helpful to devote a short amount of time each evening to prepping yourself for what you’ll be doing the next day.

2. Form a study crew

Attending summer school or taking an online class in the summer doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Summer school can be a great time to meet people you normally wouldn’t have connected with during the school year, and even if you’re taking an online summer class, you can still reach out and set up a couple get-togethers to meet as a group and study. Not only will this make the work you have to do for class a little more fun, but studying with others can help you store away and remember the information you need on hand for that quiz or test next week as well.

Getting to know someone in person can always strengthen a relationship, and you might feel a little more comfortable asking to borrow someone’s notes for a missed class if you have some sort of foundation to work from.

3. Take advantage of all your resources

Just because you’re attending summer school doesn’t mean you won’t have the same learning opportunities that you would have during the regular school year. Not only will you be attending classes and listening to lectures, but don’t forget to take advantage of other resources:

  • Textbook readings
  • Class notes
  • Outside review with your professor
  • Tutoring
  • Handouts
  • Media
  • Practice questions

If you’re looking for more options, talk with your professor and see if they can help you come up with a study plan that will help you feel supported and make your time in summer school as effective as it can possibly be.

4. Take breaks

Amid all that studying, some pretty intense FOMO (“fear of missing out”) can start creeping into your thoughts. While staying focused, managing your time well, and making a plan are all important elements of being successful during your time in summer school, don’t forget to take some breaks. You’ll find that you can be more focused and even further motivated if you let body and mind have some time to rest and relax.

This doesn’t mean that it’s necessary that you take a two-week long trip to Disney World, but it can look like going for a run, taking a walk with a friend, catching a movie, or taking an afternoon nap. While school is important and studying takes time, it is summer after all, and you want to enjoy these warm months where your schedule isn’t quite as intense.