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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.

Female student studying amidst a stack of books

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. In short, “Treat. Yo. Self.”

Donna and Tom from Parks and Recreation TV show

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.

Antiope from Wonder Woman shooting a bow and arrow

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.”

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