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5 Tips for Surviving Summer College Courses


The summer is here, the weather is gorgeous, and everybody is making plans to spend the season having a great time with leisurely, outdoor activities. Well, not everybody.

Some people will have to spend at least a few hours each week in a classroom going through the undesirable but sometimes necessary ritual of summer college courses. If you are among the lucky few spending inordinate amounts of time both in class and studying this summer for a college course, these are a few tips to help make the experience as pain free and productive, as possible.

Take Advantage of the Quiet

Most campuses are not nearly as crowded for summer classes as they are in the spring and fall. While this may seem unfair at first if it seems like everybody is elsewhere having fun, try thinking about it in this way: you may just be able to have the library and other nice air-conditioned study spots pretty much all to yourself.

Students have to spend at least a few hours each week for the undesirable but sometimes necessary ritual of summer college courses

Students have to spend at least a few hours each week for the undesirable but sometimes necessary ritual of summer college courses

Of course, your classes will ultimately be easier with more out-of-class studying, but if the idea of studying for endless hours does not seem appealing during the summer, less crowded facilities give you more expansive schedule options. If you like, you can divide your studying up amongst a few days of the week instead of just one or two — this way you also have some time for summer activities while the material remains fresh in your mind.

Avoid the Urge to Skip

This is a tough one when the weather’s nice and your friends have something planned, but you are earning credits and adding to your education. Skipping class unnecessarily will only make passing the course more difficult and ultimately add to the stress and work you need to do, and may make the added work of taking summer courses to begin with all for naught. Simply going to class will be worth both in the short term as well as the long run.

Eat Well

Diet has a much larger effect on productivity and mood than many people realize. While students often have the choice of gulping down nothing but sugary cereal and fast food, and these foods may be temporarily satisfying, there is nothing wrong with enjoying some vegetables and fruit as well, not to mention generous amounts of plain old water, especially while the weather is hot. Your body will thank you, and you will be much better equipped mentally and physically for the rigors of academia.

Caffeine Can Be Your Friend

While gulping down pots of coffee everyday may not be the best approach, a good deal of recent research is showing that reasonable amounts of caffeine not only improves mood and concentration, which is obvious to anybody who enjoys coffee, but can also help prevent diseases such as diabetes and certain types of cancer. Beyond that, when you are taking summer classes coffee can simply help you get through a morning class and/or an afternoon study session. Whether you have a personal coffee maker at home or like to study at your favorite coffee shop, having a cup or two might help keep you focused.

Practice Thoughtful Time Management

While divvying up your study sessions between shorter, more manageable segments is part of this, another part of good time management during the summer to make sure to set aside some time for activities that you enjoy. Whether it is setting aside a day for hitting the beach with friends or just a few hours playing Xbox, knowing that you have some enjoyable leisure time coming up can help get you through what your classes require. If you try dedicating all of your time to being a super-dedicated student without any balance, this can lead to burnout and skipped classes.

Even if you start out enthusiastic about your summer courses, the practice of taking one or more classes during the summer often presents some unique challenges. These tips will help get you through your summer studies with ease.