Everyone has their own vision of what taking a summer class is like.

For me, I assumed it would be easy breezy and that I would be able to study at the pool every day with a cocktail in hand. Boy, was I wrong!

Peaceful Summer Afternoon

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Instead of the pool, I was in class for several hours a day and in my apartment reading one or two chapters per night to stay caught up on the course material. Add on any additional assignments I was given, and I had most of my days and evenings booked up.

Summer classes run through a lot more material in a shorter span of time than regular semesters do because your instructors have to cover the same amount of material for you to earn those credit hours. Because of this, you’re going to be in class for longer periods of time and studying more on a nightly basis than what you’re used to.

So what do you do when you’re taking a summer course but also want to enjoy your break? No need to fear, it is possible to do both, but you’ve got to do some careful planning.

Here’s my advice on hitting the books and catching some rays!

Don’t procrastinate

Even though the last thing you want to do is hit the books when you’ve been sitting in class for a few hours, you’ll want to get that homework done before you switch over to “chill mode.” Take a 15-minute break when you get home to grab a snack or talk to your roommate, but after that, head straight to knocking your work out of the way. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re able to have the rest of your evening free.

If you can, study outside!

Some people are able to get in the zone and study even when a pool party is going on around them. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people. What I am able to do, though, is sit out on my porch and enjoy the weather from the comfort of my own apartment without getting too distracted. Figure out what works for you … but make sure that you’re getting through the material. It is still possible to get a tan and study!

Stick to your schedule

The worst thing you can do with a summer class is get behind on the material. Since summer classes move more quickly than regular classes, you don’t have the luxury of getting off course. Stay on track at all costs! If you know you’ve got to read a chapter a night, make sure it gets done … no matter how tempting that house party may be. You can always go to the party¬†after you study, but you won’t be able to study after you party.

Take Saturdays off

It’s important to give yourself a free day a week to actually get out and enjoy your summer. While you may not be able to keep your Fridays and Sundays completely free of schoolwork, let Saturday be your day of freedom. Enjoy time at the pool/beach, go on a day trip with friends or hit up your local movie theater … the options are endless. Whatever your version of having fun is, allow yourself Saturdays to be completely free of work. You’ll be amazed how much more motivated you’ll be to work on Sunday night when you’ve had a day off from the books!

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