Summer Break: Time to Learn?!

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Amethyst O'Connell
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Last summer while my peers were spending their time poolside or streaming shows, I made my summer break productive and educational. I took a full summer semester course load. Summer semester courses are certainly challenging, as you are expected to learn content and turn in homework at a faster pace. Here are three tips that will help you succeed if you decide to take classes this summer.

Summer Classes have their perks

Learning is much more focused. Teachers tend to give out less busy work, only giving out the assignments that are necessary for learning. And generally, only the teachers who love teaching choose to teach over the summer semester so you’re often getting the best. Finally, as fewer students are on campus, you have better access to campus services like the tutoring center.

Time management is essential

Since classes move through objectives at a faster rate, it’s important that you have a schedule to stay organized. I put all my classes in Google Calendar and also make sure to see my school counselor to plan out a studying schedule. My school counselor always recommends that you study a little bit before and after the lecture to keep the information fresh in your mind. Have you ever heard of the Ebbinghaus curve? Also called the forgetting curve, it shows how information is lost over time when no attempt is made to retain it. If you review it, your brain has less opportunity to forget. Another way to stay organized is to make study groups. This is a great way to create relationships with your classmates. Humans are social creatures. We learn better in teams, and in the summer semester, you need that advantage. My classmates made it much easier to learn the content in my courses.

Participate in your classes

In my Calculus 2 class, I didn’t shy away from solving equations on the board in front of the class. I made horrendous mistakes in front of the class, however, I did not repeat them on the test. Calculus is a subject where you learn best from your mistakes. You’ll learn more if you make them in front of people who can call you out on them. In Chemistry 2, I was passionate about my lab capstone project. I did a project on mouth bacteria. I was engaged in that lab project, and it made it easier to be more engaged in the class.

I encourage you to take some classes this summer! Pairing up my two most difficult classes led to a challenging – but exciting – summer!

What classes will you take this summer? Share with the Pearson Students community by commenting on my blog.

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