Survival Guide to Summer Term
By Keith Proctor, Staff Writer
Spring term is winding down. Many students are looking forward to summer break. The likes of vacation, visiting family and friends, catching up on sleep, favorite TV shows and working a summer job are on the near horizon. Freedom from classes, textbooks, papers, and tests before classes resume in the fall are all coming into focus. Gazing lazily into this upcoming summer is gaining momentum with each passing spring day.
Some students, however, are signed up for summer classes, at their own school, or at an institution more near home. Summer classes are something quite different. The same Math Stats class from winter term offered within the duration of, anywhere from, 10 to 15 weeks may be condensed into the parameters of 4 to 8 weeks during summertime…enough to crush many otherwise successful students.
Numerous higher education students who achieved academic victory during the Fall, Winter and Spring terms struggle within summer curriculums. Often this is due to how they study; recycling the same ole same ole study skills from the regular school year just doesn’t cut it during the rapid pace of a summer semester. Summer classes operate within “squeezed time”.
So, why would a student want to take summer classes, asked parents through an online website devoted to determining successful preparation and completion of summer term. College Parental Central says some of the most common reasons are:
- Some students take a summer class or two to gain an advantage and perhaps finish their degree early – graduating in three years or in December rather than May.
- Some students need to take a course or two to make up for a course that they failed or in which they received a poor grade or from which they withdrew during the traditional semester. Some of these students may be using the summer class to improve their GPA.
- Some students may want to complete a pre-requisite so that they can take another course in the fall, or may want to take a course that wasn’t available another semester.
- Some students use summer as an opportunity to sample a subject that they want to explore – at a time when they have more focus.
According to a U.S. News post, the number one disadvantage to taking summer classes is, “it’s too intensive.” Summer school classes are very compressed: They almost always meet an hour or two a day, five days a week. For some people, having class and homework every day as well as tests and papers due at more frequent intervals is just more than they can happily swallow.
Applying distinct strategies and developing goals for summer coursework can be helpful in achieving summer college success; this will aid in effective learning. The most critical component of setting goals…is actually setting them. Don’t just think and talk about it, do it. Online research suggest that being positive about your learning is the best gift you can give yourself.
Begin summer term organized—and stay organized. Creating an orderly learning space to do schoolwork will put you ahead of the game. Further data reveals successful summer school student’s start on track and stay on track. It’s healthier to be ahead, or on time, verses struggling at the last minute, especially within a condensed timeline. Don’t drag your feet—make yourself do things on time, and you’ll be better off in the long run.
Beginning the session by establishing a routine and asking good questions will make a world of difference. Having good time management and communication skills is essential, and; setting timelines with checkpoints concerning your goals has proven ideal for succeeding summer session.