Saturday, March 7, 2009

Staying Focused During Summer School

Ray of Sunshine wrote me and asked, "How do you stay focused enough for summer school?" It's not easy! The primary way I stay focused is to keep that goal in sight - my degree. I thought about some practical ideas and the following is what I came up with. If anyone has anything else they'd like to add from their summer school experience, jump right in!

How to Stay Focused During Summer School:

1. Keep the goal in sight: What is your goal? It is to finish your education and get your degree!
2. Commiserate with classmates: Form a study group and meet out on the lawn in the school quad or at an outside table at a local cafe.
3. Study outdoors: You'll feel deprived if you spend the whole summer in the library and then you'll become resentful of your goal.
4. Declare one room in your house a "study free zone" where no schoolbooks are allowed, but chillaxing is always welcome!
5. Remember that there are at least 8-12 other people in the classroom with you as well as the teacher/prof. You're all in this together.
6. Remember that summer school is a short-term commitment. This, too, shall pass.

The Good Things About Summer School:

1. No tan line.
2. You don't smell like sunscreen.
3. You don't need to wear a hat.
4. That Philosophy class you were dreading is only 6 weeks long.
5. Not as much homework.
6. No sand in your bikini bottoms.
7. You can wear your Birkenstocks and Bermuda shorts and fit right in.
8. Smaller classes.
9. The teacher has "office hours" at Starbucks.
10. It's ok to take your shoes off.

Yes, summer school is a whole different beast. Used to be when I was growing up that summer school was for the bad kids who didn't pass the classes during the regular school year. Now, summer school is for the serious kids (like me) who want to get in there and git'er done!

A toast to all of us who will be braving the wilds of summer school this year (again). May our grades be hot and our classes be cool!

Stay tuned . . .

1 comment:

Ray of Sunshine said...

Thank you for doing this follow-up blog on how to stay focused in summer school. While some of it doesn't directly apply to me as an online student, I did find some helpful suggestions on staying focused on my goal. Ultimately my goal is my degree, so summer school would serve as more of a conduit to obtaining it. I think that these are very good tips, especially the ones about Starbucks (for me it's Caribou since they offer free wifi) and going outdoors to study. I always thought of the uneventful (and sometimes cold) library or simply staying indoors at home as part of the summer school experience, but I guess it's what one makes of it. Anyway, thanks again and good luck to you this summer. :-)

~Ray~