Unlike the fall and spring semesters, summer classes are a great way to get ahead of the game and move you closer to graduation. However, summer classes are a bit different than those that you would take in the fall or spring semester.
Instead of the normal 15 week courses it’s condensed into 4 to 6 weeks containing all the material you would normally see. That means a lot longer lectures and time to put in during the summer, on the bright side though what would take you a full semester now will only take you a month and a half.
Here’s how to make the most of your summer classes.
Take them seriously: Just because its summer doesn’t mean the class is easier. In fact it’s the same material in a shorter time frame. Missing just one class can have the impact of missing two or three during the regular semester.
Don’t fall behind: One of the easiest things that can happen in a summer class is falling behind. Before you take a day trip, make sure that your homework or reading for a class is complete. Most classes build on themselves and not knowing one thing can lead to a slew of problems in the future.
Use a schedule: Whether you’re taking multiple classes or working and taking a class, much of your summer won’t be as free as you would think. Take a few moments every day to look at what you need to get done that day as well as later that week to appropriately schedule personal time versus work. Creating an actual schedule, whether on your iPhone or written in a day planner, helps you see when you have time to schedule and keeps you accountable.
Ask your professor/peers for help: With a lot of material condensed into a few weeks, concepts can get messy. To stay successful, one of the best things you can do is communicate your needs. Not only with your professor, but with the other students in your class. Use your classmates and course instructor to clarify any misunderstandings. Make sure that you have the email or phone number of at least two people in your class.
Use the weekends wisely: There is going to be a lot thrown at you during the week and a short period of time to complete everything. This can leave students feeling burnt out. Use the weekends as a time to help get caught up or clarify things you didn’t understand. It is also the perfect time to plan for study groups or knock out homework assigned and possibly get ahead.
Make time for yourself: Whether it’s going to the gym, taking a hike, or reading out on Prexy’s, make sure that you still enjoy your summer. Laramie hosts farmer’s markets, Jubilee Days, campus concert series, and other events throughout the summer that you can’t take advantage of during the school year.
Use campus resources: With a lower student population in the summer, many campus and community resources become more available. Take advantage of the empty computer labs, printers, study rooms, coffee shops, and office hours during the summer.
Summer classes are a great opportunity to keep your mind active in learning and to get ahead on your degree. With a faster paced approach and hopefully more downtime in the summer it is good to help lighten the load for a future semester or even take it for the joy of learning.