Be a Smart Student All Summer Long!
Written by Expert Caroline McKinnon
So summer is here, the heat is on and there are parties galore to attend. However, summer is also the time that a smart student will set aside a little bit of time to get ahead of the game. Studies have shown that even working a little over the summer, reading in particular, can help your studies when school returns. The reading doesn’t even have to be linked to your studies, but it is obviously beneficial if it is.
Let’s face it, you are here, reading this, because you are smart. So let us help you to keep your study skills alive and still have a fun summer break!
Know Your Studies
At this stage you must have an idea of the subjects/classes that you are taking in the new academic year. Most classes come with a reading list. Choose one or two of the books on the list and add them to your summer novel reading. Not only do studies suggest that this will keep your brain academically tuned, but it will make your transition back to school much easier. A basic check of the school library can help you find more information, and you can also email the department directly for information on what to study.
Make use of your local library. Not only can they order in the books you need and offer study guides, but when there's a heat wave, they also offer free air conditioning! You may also find a study partner there. Ask around, perhaps you can form a small summer reading group or study group.
A useful tip for nearly everyone is to take a little bit of time to look through past papers or work from your previous year. While your classes and subjects
may be changing, chances are, any weaknesses you may have in writing papers haven’t. You can use your old work for two very good reasons. One, rereading will keep the subject knowledge fresh in your mind. Two, by concentrating on the feedback, you can work on areas that let you down. Say for example, your referencing and bibliography were not great, then you can work with a guide or tutor to improve that skill.
Learn to Chill Out
Summer is still a time for fun, and something you can do to combine beach/park time with study is to learn relaxation techniques. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for students as they progress through college is the level of work and stress that builds up. Only you know how stressed you get, however, learning a few techniques will not go to waste.
Now, no one is suggesting that you become a Yoga master or Zen meditation guru. There are many other ways to relax the mind. Most libraries will have a book for beginners. Doing this will serve more than one purpose. Of course, it will help you to learn to cope in moments of stress (think midterms). It will also keep the mind active, by reading and learning a new skill.
Lastly, don’t forget to have some fun during the break. Being refreshed will be the best study aid you have!
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