Tips for Successful Summer Courses

I know that I am extremely lucky to have the summer off school. Although it means I have to work, it’s nice to be able to give my brain the break. That being said, I can commiserate with the many BCIT students who are not so lucky since I have spent many summers in the past participating in the summer study grind. This is why I thought I’d share some of the coping tactics that I have used to get through summer courses.

  1. Change up your study location! Just because you must study during the summer doesn’t mean you have to be cooped up indoors at a desk. Try taking your notes to the park, a beach, or even out in your own backyard. A nice quiet place in the shade can be just as ideal for studying at a library if it’s done right. I’ve found that being outside sometimes is enough to help me feel energized and can even help me focus since I don’t waste time wishing I was outside enjoying the nice weather. On the Burnaby campus, I used to find a nice picnic bench and plunk myself down with my books for a few hours. With laptop batteries that last like they do, there’s really no reason you can’t get fresh air and get through your coursework, just make sure you put on sunscreen and stay hydrated.
  2. Schedule time to enjoy yourself. Set aside a bit of time every week for self-care. Get a manicure, visit a friend, or have some sangria. Basically, give yourself time to unwind. Since some summer courses go by faster, it can be easy to be swept up by the material and not take enough time to keep your sanity.
  3. Make yourself an audio quiz or audio notes so that you can study on the go. I personally like to occupy myself while I’m on a run by listening to either relevant podcasts or quizzes to get myself outdoors, exercised, all while not losing out on any study time. Instead of making flashcards, try recording yourself asking a question followed by a pause, followed by the answer. If you make a series of these it helps you study not only while you make it but can also be used to study while multitasking. It will accomplish the same thing as physical flash cards by has the bonus of accommodating those of us that are auditory learners.
  4. If you’re taking online courses, schedule your class time. Time management can be difficult in online courses. This is especially true when the great fun of summer is calling you. Set a routine for yourself where you work on certain courses for a set period. Almost like going to a scheduled class, but in the comfort of your home. This will also help you be able to take time to relax in between since it will be clear when and for how long you should be studying.

Overall, studying during the summer can be tough but it doesn’t mean you must waste your summer. With some creative learning strategies and good time management, you can both enjoy yourself and commit yourself to your school work.

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