Summer Studying: 6 Ways to Stick to Your Study Plan
An education is more than a semester of school. It's who you are. It’s a lifestyle.
When you commit to lifelong learning at Ashford, staying on track with your studies helps you to continue to strengthen your knowledge during the summer months. You should engage in active practices that help you integrate and implement your studies and keep your mind limber and sharp. It's equally important, however, to relax, recharge, and enjoy the warmest time of the year.
1. Watch for summer burnout
Job-related burnout is not to be taken lightly, and academic burnout can be equally damaging to your progress, morale, and happiness. When you are enrolled in a course during the summer months, you can learn more and maintain your momentum. Just make sure you don't fall victim to the chronic stress that students often experience, especially if you're also working. Some signs of academic burnout include fatigue, anxiety, loss of appetite, anger, forgetfulness, and insomnia, among others.
2. Study outside
Summer provides welcoming weather, and taking your learning outside in the morning or as the sun sets, whether it’s on your porch, at the park, or at the beach, can provide clarity and calmness. Just keep in mind that studying outside has pros and cons, and you should know when it’s time to bring the session back inside.
3. Support your study plan with hobbies
There's more to learning than rigor and discipline. Learning should also be done in a spirit of exploration, experimentation, and play. Thinking is most effective when it's fun. Stimulation and variety keep things interesting. Summer provides an opportunity to dig into areas of knowledge outside your academic focus.
Maybe you love cooking, gaming, producing your own music, or navigating different parts of your town. These are all opportunities to follow your curiosity and keep your brain active and engaged before or after a study session.
4. Challenge yourself to read three books
Reading fiction has been shown to increase intelligence, help cultivate empathy, and make you a more imaginative and well-rounded person.
When you create a summer reading list and follow through on it, you demonstrate to yourself that you can keep your commitments, and you also expand your emotional intelligence and areas of knowledge. You don't need to do it alone - a book club, with friends or online, can provide an added incentive to keep turning pages. You can mix nonfiction, how-tos, or serious academic literature with something silly and fun, such as a sci-fi or romance novel.
Whatever you do, turn off the television, and pick up a book instead.
5. Up your fitness game
Any exercise is good exercise, and the best exercise is the exercise you show up to do. A vigorous workout helps you look and feel better. It can even help you grow new blood vessels and brain cells. Starting a new fitness routine, or sticking with the one you've established, will set you up for success. Even a brisk walk every day has been shown to build intelligence over time.
Travel is fun, it broadens the mind, and it can help you apply what you've learned, especially if you're interested in other languages and cultures. When you learn a new language, roam in a new city, or adapt to an unfamiliar environment, you hone your ability to pick up cues, clues, and context - much as you do when you study. You can also absorb history, information, and stories that no textbook will teach you.
Keep Your Brain Active and Challenged During the Summer
Summer can be a time to rest and recuperate. But as psychology shows us, it's vital to continue learning all year long. Over the summer, respect your commitment to lifelong learning, and you'll prepare yourself to excel when you meet the challenges ahead.
If you're in search of a new challenge that will help you meet your goals and become the lifelong learner you want to be, consider an online degree from Ashford University. Contact Ashford today and kick off your summer studies.
Written by Ashford University staff