After the year that was 2020, we know that this summer — more than ever — our students are itching to be out and about, hanging out with family and friends, going to events, and doing all the things we missed out on last year. And trust us when we say we want that for you too! It’s also essential to strike a balance between enjoying the summer and keeping up with responsibilities at school. So when it comes to taking summer classes, we want to help.
Here are 5 tips to help you stay motivated with your studies during the summer:
1. Create a Schedule
The biggest part of being a student is having a plan and making a schedule. If you treat school like a job you are more likely to “show up” and get your work done.
Keep a Calendar
You may already be used to keeping your school schedule during the fall and spring terms, but it can be especially helpful to do so this time of year because you may have more activities outside of class or keeping up with your kids’ camp or sports schedule to keep up with. Sit down every Sunday evening to review your week’s plan, and make sure you allow time for all school and outside activities. A good app to help you stay organized is (aptly named) MyLifeOrganized.
Map Out Due Dates for Assignments and Exams
Schedule in study blocks and reading time to prepare for each assignment. When it comes to getting homework done, it’s usually best to space it out over a few days. Doing so will help you avoid a homework rush before your next class. Share your schedule with your family and friends so they know what your obligations are and can respect the time you are dedicating to school. Not everyone takes summer classes, so you’ll want to stay ahead of the trouble.
Eliminate Distractions While You Work
Turn off the TV and social media apps. If you are somewhere noisy, wear noise-cancelling headphones. Also avoid multi-tasking, which can actually decrease your productivity. Remember, you planned and scheduled this time specifically for schoolwork and studying – stick to the plan! If you need help staying focused, check out productivity lists like, To Do, Todoist and Evernote. It takes some discipline and practice, but you will start to see the more focused you are, the more you will accomplish during these study blocks.
2. Find Your Study Spot
It’s important to find a study space that’s exciting enough that it motivates you to study during the summer, but not so exciting that it distracts you from the task at hand of studying for classes. Create a clean and organized workspace where you can sit down and focus on your schoolwork. If you’re at home, set up a desk by a window. If you’re on campus, find a space that has an outdoor view. Our environment influences our mood, so seek natural light whenever possible to boost your mood and ease eye strain.
3. Find a Study Buddy
We know that there can be a lot of challenges while you’re in school, so it’s great to find an accountability partner or study buddy to help keep you on track. Make sure to log in to your student portal and email and utilize your instructors’ virtual office hours. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your classmates to start a study group. Apps like Group Me, What’s App and Zoom are great ways to connect with your peers. There is strength in numbers!
4. Establish a Routine
Go to bed and wake up around the same time each weekday morning. Take time out to stretch, meditate and calm your mind. Eat healthy and make sure to exercise — whether it’s taking a swim or a bike ride or just a stroll around the block. The summer season is a short one in New York, so optimize your time outside! Just remember that activity + heat = sweat + dehydration. So make sure to drink 8-10 glasses of clean water each day.
5. Balance Work with Summer Classes
Make it a priority to balance time spent in class and studying with time having fun, relaxing, and enjoying all the magic of the summer season. Since it doesn’t get dark out until late, this is the perfect season to balance work and play! Make it a priority to have fun on a regular basis—it’s just as important to your self care as anything else.
Stay on track with your original goal when you enrolled in school, and you will be walking across that graduation stage before you know it!