Balancing Summer Classes and Summer Fun

Going to school is tough enough, but trying to do it during the summer when everyone else is vacationing and enjoying the sun can be downright painful, unless, of course, you plan it out carefully. With a little thoughtful planning, you can enjoy the best of both worlds, get ahead on your class load and still finding time for fun.

A Calendar is the Key
Before you start mapping out your summer, get yourself a calendar. Web-based calendars such as Google and Outlook work great because you can check them from nearly anywhere and you can merge your calendar easily with someone else which can save a lot of time in planning. A good old fashion wall calendar or Franklin-type planner will also get the job done.

Schedule Classes Carefully
Once you have your calendar, the first thing to schedule on it is your classes. Try scheduling classes together on the same day or on consecutive days so it is easier to plan everything else around it, allowing you a several day break in between to plan summer activities and work. Think about what time of day you are the most productive when scheduling classes to help you make the most of your time and keep stress down. Also consider taking a lighter load if possible. Rasmussen offers a number of online classes which may offer you the ultimate flexibility in scheduling.

Make Time to Study
Once your classes are scheduled and on your calendar, consider how much time you will need to study for each class and block time off for that as well. Academictips.org suggests allowing at least two hours of study time for every one hour of class.  When you do study, prioritize your studying, working on subjects and information that is hardest and most unfamiliar to you first.

Work in Work
If you are working over the summer, get your work hours on your calendar next. Make sure you don’t over commit yourself and are leaving enough time to study and for some fun.

Refresh Yourself with Mini Vacations and Social Outings
Lastly, make sure you are making time, even if it is just a few hours a week, for yourself. Block it off on your calendar giving yourself permission to take a break and enjoy some time to relax and rejuvenate. It could be as simple as a happy hour or lunch with a friend. Finding time to get away also helps clear your mind and makes it easier to refocus on your school work when you need to. You may not be able to jet off for a long vacation, but take advantage of the holes in your schedule to plan mini-vacations with family and friends. Try to get your studying done during the week, so when the weekend roles around you are able to take advantage of all summer has to offer without added stress.

It may require a little extra planning and time management but summer doesn’t have to pass you by just because you are in school.  And always keep perspective, it is only for a few months and you will be that much farther ahead of the game when fall rolls around.

Michelle Knoll

Michelle Knoll is a freelance writer based out of the Twin Cities with more than 15 years experience writing for local media outlets and other various organizations. She can be reached at Michelle@KnollCommunications.com

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