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Student Blog: Destination Graduation

Strategies for Summer Success

The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and you deserve a break – but you’re working hard and pushing through more classes! Whatever your reason for taking summer classes, we have tips for you to stay on track and excel during summer courses and maximize your investment.

Summer Studying

Take charge:
It can be a little too easy to not attack your summer studies the same way you would in the fall and spring semesters.

Beat burnout:
After working so hard in the spring, it can be tough to have the stamina to hit the ground running in the summer. If possible, try to space out your schedule so that you’re not doing too much at once. If it’s not possible to have a very brief break before summer classes start, make sure you give yourself some time in the morning or evening to recharge and do whatever you need to feel good! Some ways you can do this are: reread your favorite book, binge-watch your favorite show, catch a fun blockbuster, or treat yourself to some junk food, schedule a day trip on the weekend to get a fresh perspective.

Plan it out:
With summer courses, a regular semester is packed into a much shorter period of time. This can be both good and challenging. It’s nice to complete a class but it can also be nice to have a little bit more time to process it all. To help with this, make good use of a planner, calendar, or even sticky notes so that you don’t forget what absolutely needs to be done right away and what can be done at a later time. This helps you stay on top of your class and prevents you from nasty, unexpected surprises like tests or big assignments.

Go outside:
It IS the summer, so if it’s nice outside, go out and enjoy it! You don’t have to be an Amazonian warrior – you can walk for thirty minutes, go one a short bike ride, or just lay in the grass while you do your homework. Fresh air and short exercise breaks have been proven to improve the effectiveness of studying.

We’ve Been There

Jane, Junior English Major:
“I had never taken courses during the summer before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I think the best thing you can do is not procrastinate on classwork and make sure you always know what’s going on. I had two classes that overlapped, one a 3-week in-person literature class and the other an online class for linguistics. The hardest part was finding a balance between the two because there was so much work and a lot of it was due either the next day or every other day. So having a clear idea of what you need to get done and prioritizing it is very important to succeeding in summer classes.”

Dayana, Senior Communications Major:
“My first semester at Boise State was in Summer 2015. I took 12 credits and had no idea how difficult the summer semester could be. Since then, I have always enrolled in summer classes because they can be really beneficial, especially if you are just taking one or two classes to lighten your regular semester load. My tip is to ALWAYS stay on top of your assignments. Make a list of assignments by priority and due dates and try to finish them as soon as you can. Because summer classes are set at a faster pace, I suggest you ask your instructor many questions in order to succeed. Miscommunication can oftentimes cause problems over a simple assignment. Make sure you take care of yourself! Make time in your schedule to enjoy some time outside with friends or catch a movie.

Pamela, Graduate Student in Public Administration:
“My biggest struggle with summer classes was keeping up with the reading. I eventually learned to email my professors in advance and ask for a syllabus or reading list to start preparing before classes actually started. But if you’re not willing or unable to put in that extra effort, rely on basic reading strategies to maximize your time and learning.”

More Resources:

On Orientation: Tips and Advice from AASC Staff

Welcome to Boise State!

First and foremost, welcome to Boise State and congratulations on choosing to become a Bronco! It’s an exciting time but also daunting.

To help you with this process, the staff of the Advising and Academic Support Center (AASC) has provided you with advice, resources, and inspirational quotes, oh my! Read on for more.

GIF of Wizard of Oz characters skipping down the yellow brick road.

From Tatiana, AASC Student Success Assistant:
As an in-state student from the Treasure Valley, I thought I knew it all! I didn’t push myself to socialize or explore extracurricular activities. I cannot stress enough how important it is to make new friends, connections, and explore!

From Mandy, AASC Student Success Assistant:
Registering for classes is an exciting time. This is the moment that everything will start to sink in and feel real. To prepare for the process, make sure you have all your documents handy (SAT, ACT, and Accuplacer scores, etc.) and have questions ready for the advising staff. Bear in mind that through it all, everything will be okay. You will be enrolled in the classes that you need and support services will be provided to help you out.

Picture of a quote that reads, "It it's both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely pursue it."From Dayana, AASC Student Success Assistant:
As in international and non-traditional student, college can be challenging and overwhelming. Make sure that you advocate for yourself and seek help. Boise State has many resources and an amazing staff trained to guide you to the right path. Take advantage of the opportunities that Boise State will provide you and don’t doubt yourself! Remember, you are welcome here!

From Jane, AASC Student Assistant:
Remember to breathe and take everything one step at a time. It’s really easy to feel overwhelmed or intimidated by people who seem to have everything together. They’re probably just as nervous! Don’t push yourself too far out of your comfort zone, but stepping out of it just a little can be well worth the experience!

From Pamela, AASC Graduate Assistant:
My orientation at Boise State felt like a whirlwind, packed full of information and events, but I was so glad to have managed to slow down enough to get to know the folks in my group. I’m still friends with a few people that I met at my Boise State orientation over eight years ago. So be a little social, get to know a few people, and then make plans to meet up for coffee during the first week of classes.

From Tomas, AASC Director:
Don’t worry if you haven’t decided on a major by the time you attend orientation. It’s better to explore your options and establish a firm foundation during your first semester than declare a major you’re not passionate about.

From Kate, AASC Academic Support Coordinator:
Ask questions! Sometimes, feeling that my question is “silly” stops me from asking – but I would rather have the answer! Orientation is the one time during your college career that literally all the services to support you are in one place; use that to your advantage.

A picture with the words "It's gonna be O.K." in black and white.From Jillana, AASC Associate Director:
It’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed. It’s a lot to take in! Try journaling or talking with someone about the experience. This will help you remember key bits of information and identify questions or concerns you still have. Take this opportunity to recognize that this is a new chapter in your life that will require new skills, new strategies, and new perspectives. It is not like High School. It’s a new game on a new field. You might feel a little lost, confused, or uncertain in the transition. Reach out of support and know that with persistence you will become a pro at this new game.

From Neil, AASC Assistant Director:
Orientation can feel like a blur with all of the new people you will meet and things you will be exposed to academically and socially. We get that and don’t expect you to retain everything. Ask your questions and rest assured that there are people and services here at Boise State to help you!

From Karina, Academic Development and Recovery Coordinator:
Welcome to Boise State!!! We are so excited to have you join us here. Don’t worry if you don’t remember everything or if you feel overwhelmed. Boise State offers a free 1 credit course called “Bronco Ready” that has information to help support you as you transition to Boise State. Take advantage and reach out if you have any questions.

Start strong in academics by doing well in classes and staying on track. We understand you might be nervous, but never fear! We’ve compiled some important resources that can help you with a variety of aspects to help you succeed:

  • Are you undeclared and want help exploring majors?
  • Decided and ready to pursue a degree in a specific major?

More questions?

Contact the Advising and Academic Support Center
Call: (208) 426-4049
Location: SMASH building, first floor