How To Stay Sharp And Maximize Your Summer
by Suzanne Raga
Ahh, summer has officially arrived. Your textbooks and binders are out of sight, and you’re looking forward to leisurely months filled with beach towels, sunscreen, and no homework. A lot of teens, though, are doing summer classes, standardized test prep courses, or rigorous academic camps. How do you strike the right balance?
1. If you’re enrolled in a summer course, adjust your perspective. You’re getting ahead of the curve by doing supplemental work, so good for you! What you’re learning will hopefully save you tons of time next year. It helps that your teacher and classmates will most likely dress more casually, and you can hit the pool after the bell rings.
2. Take a look at the courses you took last year, and think about what you plan to take in the fall. Now is a valuable time to look at the big picture. What subject was your favorite, and what did you despise? Plan to invest more time next year in what you love.
3. If you’re learning a foreign language, summer is a great time to review vocabulary. It’s easy to completely forget what you learned, so don’t lose all that knowledge. Every few weeks, review all your flashcards. Better yet, travel to the source. Can you take a trip with your family to a city where you can practice speaking your language with natives?
4. Two words: Summer Reading. You don’t have to read any boring textbooks, so take advantage of it! Choose books that you want to read. What genres are the most interesting to you? Take some risks, and you might just discover that you’re a mystery buff, or that you love historical fiction, for example.
5. Have fun. Although it’s definitely a good idea to stay mentally engaged during the long summer months, taking a mental break is essential for your health and well-being. After an intense school year, you’ll benefit from a change in pace. Enjoy spending time with friends and family, when you’re not constrained by your usual Monday-Friday school schedule. Taking a break helps you refresh and recharge yourself, so you’re ready to rock school again, come September.
Suzanne Raga graduated from Princeton University in 2011 & is the author of You Rock! How To Be A Star Student & Still Have Fun. Check out You Rock! for more real world strategies to rock school and ditch stress.