Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips
Summer is all about things like going to the beach, riding rollercoasters, traveling, and binge-watching Netflix. If you are taking summer classes, you may envy your friends just a little bit for having more free time to enjoy these activities. It can be tough to focus on school during the summer, when all you really want is to take a break and relax.
It’s okay – there are a few things to make summer classes a bit easier:
1. Know The Syllabus
Did your instructor provide you with a syllabus? If so, how familiar with it are you? Whether a class is online or on-campus, it’s important to know what’s being asked of you. If your school operates on semesters, the summer class that you’re currently enrolled in is more than likely much shorter than you’re used to. However, in most cases, the material you’d learn in a 15-16 week course is now crammed into a 3-8-week period. This can make it very easy to fall behind. The syllabus may include a grading scale and an outline of the work for the course to help you prepare. Reading the syllabus at least once could avert a grave catastrophe of missing an assignment or expecting certain assignments to boost your grade.
2. Develop A Schedule
Knowing how long it will take you to complete a task for your class is important. If there’s assigned reading for the course, how long does it take you to read it? How long does it take you to complete the homework? How long do you need to study for a quiz or a test? If possible, try to overestimate. Give your self time to not rush through anything and if it takes less time than anticipated, then you have extra free time! Even if it’s just an extra 15 minutes, that’s still enough time to get a snack or start on the next thing on your to-do list. This will also enable you to make plans, such as when you’re available to work or when you can hang out with friends.
3. Reward Yourself
Summer classes can be stressful, especially if you haven’t quite recovered from the previous semester. Though you may also be working while taking classes, be sure to take care of yourself. Reward yourself for completing the day’s homework with a dessert, or a few episodes of your favorite show. When you’re finally done with the class, do something bigger like going out to your favorite restaurant. This can also give you something you enjoy to look forward to instead of just facing the next wave of school work.
Once classes are over, you can enjoy the rest of your summer!
Until then… power through it!
Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips
One of the greatest things about college is the new found freedom. We no longer have our parents nagging us to make sure that our homework is done and that we studied for the math test – it’s amazing! And yet, it’s not so amazing. We soon learn that support system that was pushing us to perform well in school is greatly missed and a lot of students struggle to keep up with their workload when those daily reminders are no longer in place. That is why it is so important to learn how to properly manage your time and develop skills that will ensure you don’t fall behind in your classes.
Keep up with your classes with these simple tips:
1. Schedule Study Time
When you’re in college, you have a lot more going on in your life than just your courses. Most students also have part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, family they like to visit, and maybe even a social life to tend to once in a while. That is why it’s important to set aside a certain amount of time each day to study and do homework. Plan out a couple of hours each day that you will dedicate solely to school work – and stick to the schedule!
2. Stay Ahead of the Syllabus
The syllabus is there for a reason – use it! No one is saying that you have to do all of the assigned readings for the semester in the first week of classes, but keep an eye out for what’s to come. If you find that you have some extra time, start doing the readings for the following week. If you know that you will have a big assignment towards the end of the semester, start thinking of ideas and even do some light research for it. Staying ahead of the deadlines takes a lot of stress out of the college experience.
3. Show up
This may seem silly to some of you, but many students enter college with the idea that you don’t have to show up to all your classes to do well. That new found freedom I mentioned earlier plays a big role here. It’s much easier to stay in your big comfy warm bed for a few extra hours rather than going to class at 8:00AM in the snow – believe me, I think there’s a consensus on that. But missing even one day of class can be really detrimental to your grade. Especially when you only have that class once a week, there is probably a ton of material that you’re missing. No matter how comfortable your bed is, get up and get to your classes!
If you still find yourself struggling to keep up with the heavy course load, talk to someone in your school. Colleges offer tutoring and help with dealing with these types of problems; use these resources!
What’s your secret to keeping up with your classes? Tell us in a comment below.
Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips
For those of you who have longer breaks in between your classes, take advantage of them! Don’t simply use them to eat your lunch and sit around waiting for your next class. Below are four ways you can put those breaks to use without even leaving campus:
The very best way to spend time in between your classes is to do your school work. Whether it be reading your textbooks or writing essays, it can be done on campus. This way, when you get home at the end of the day, you can truly unwind and do other things because you won’t have to worry about doing homework.
Why waste your own ink and paper at home printing those 15-page research papers when you can do it at school? On your breaks, head to your campus’ computer room and print everything you need. Most colleges offer unlimited free printing for students, but some do charge – so be sure to find out your best option.
3. Professor Office Hours
Most professors spend their office hours waiting for students to come to them for help. Yet students rarely take the opportunity to do so. Even if you’re not struggling in a class, use each break to go to a different professor. Ask them questions about the lecture, the homework, or your overall major. Not only will it help you understand the material more, it will also show your professor that you care about your education and that can have a positive effect on your grade in that class. Bonding with your professor is also a good idea if you ever need a letter of recommendation for grad school.
Use your breaks to meet new people and network. If there is an on-campus event going on during your break, go to it! College is a lot more fun if you make friends and the breaks go by a lot quicker when you have someone to spend them with.
What do you like to do in-between classes? Tell us below.
With school gearing back up, many are in the mindset of how to make this year the best yet. After an enjoyable summer break, spending time with family and friends, exotic vacations, and maybe even a break from classes, it is now time to think about this new semester. There are a few things you need to consider about how to make this fall the best it can be.
After the first day of class, read the syllabus thoroughly, go through and place all important dates for the entire semester into your iCal or planner. Organizing dates in the beginning will allow you time to plan and complete work ahead of time, you also won’t have to rely on your professor to remind you. Want to take it a step further? Organize your classes into individual folders to keep all of your pertinent information and assignments.
You have worked so hard for that summer time body, don’t let it go just because classes start. Don’t fit exercising into your schedule; make it a part of your schedule. We also have to remember to make it a habit of eating right. Now, don’t get me wrong, we all like to indulge in a couple brownies every now and then, just don’t pig out on unhealthy snacks. If you start your body off right, it will become second nature. Spring break will be here before you know it and you won’t even have to worry if you stay healthy!
We are college students – it is impossible to keep your room pristine all the time. Just take an hour or so once a week and straighten everything up. Your roommate will love you even more, and you’ll be surprised just how calming and relaxing it is. Your parents might even be surprised at this new habit.
Fall semester is always interesting. You are reconnected with friends, face the chaos of moving into your dorm or apartment, take new classes, and have new professors. As the semester progresses, you will develop a pattern and everything will become second nature. Be sure to incorporate these habits into your semester routine early to insure that you are in for a great semester.
I have done summer school every semester since I began college. Over the years I have found a few ways to not only keep myself motivated, but I’ve also found how I can still have an amazing summer in the midst of classes. These are just a few tips that work for me that some of my friends have tried recently too.
1. Choose Classes Wisely
I typically don’t like early morning classes because I hate waking up. However, during the summer you have to make a decision, would you rather wake up and be done with class earlier? Or, would you rather sleep in and go to class later in the day? Every person will answer that differently, but you have to remember that this isn’t a normal semester, so your plans should be based off of your summer schedule.
2. Pick A Flexible Job
Don’t pick up a summer job and make that your number one priority before summer school. Yes, money is something we all need, and it’s also really great to work during the summer – but don’t forget you are spending money to take these classes, so make it worth it! Try to pick a job that is going to allow you to have the time you need to focus on school. The semester is shorter, but with just as much work with less time to do it, so you have to make sure you’re able to keep up.
3. Keep Motivated
If you take a class you are good at and enjoy, it is easier to stay motivated. I have noticed that when I used to take summer classes in a subject that I struggle with (like math or science), I had a much harder time staying focused. Classes for my major and general education, I didn’t have as much of an issue with and I ended up getting much better grades. Don’t pick your toughest classes just because the semester is shorter, that absolutely does not mean the class will be easier!
Taking summer courses is not for everyone, but it has definitely been something that I am glad I’ve done. Whether you want the afternoon for fun, or you want to sleep until noon, figure out what works best for your summer schedule and make it happen!