The summer months are an ideal opportunity to work on completing your education. Class sizes are smaller, your schedule may be a bit lighter, and it puts you that much closer to completing your degree. Yet, it’s hard to stay motivated and focused on school when you could be heading to a friend’s barbeque or off to the pool every day. How can you keep your eye on the prize and achieve your goals of completing your education during the warm months of summer? Check out these six helpful tips.
1. Realize the Value of Summer Education
There are numerous benefits to getting some education in during the summer months. You have the ability to catch up or move ahead within your course of study. And, you’ll benefit from fewer distractions happening on campus. The smaller class sizes also mean more one-on-one time for professors and an intimate learning environment. The benefits of learning now are easy to see. When you focus on what you are achieving for yourself by taking these online summer courses, everything else seems less important.
2. Incentivize Your Work
The best way to maintain focus is to simply give yourself some type of carrot at the end of the stick. Work through your pile of study materials and earn something. Incentives do not have to be expensive or out of reach. They could simply mean a night out with friends if you finish your paper early. It could mean a day off. It takes a good deal of self-control to achieve this, but if you provide yourself with a specific reward that you truly appreciate, it can work well.
3. Create the Right Atmosphere
Next, make sure the space you’re working in gives off the right feel. A study-friendly environment can offer some fun, but needs to provide an opportunity to focus on summer courses.
- Use music, but choose study music that is less distracting and less likely to have you singing along.
- Minimize clutter in that space. A desk, paper, your laptop, and books are all you need in front of you.
- Put the electronics out of arm’s reach. Your phone needs to be on silent and out of your sight to give you the best opportunity to focus.
The work needs to get done and without distractions, you can minimize the risk that you’ll spend more time studying and working than you need to.
4. Get in Some Exercise
How is stepping away from the online courses and getting exercise in going to help you? It can help to give you a much needed break while helping you to clear your mind. It allows you to get the heart racing and allows for better concentrate both during the run and after it. You can choose any type of exercise you want as long as it is cardio-focused. This increased blood flow delivers better nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to your brain. It's easy for graduate students to have their heads buried in their books especially as online students, but exercise refreshes you.
5. You Need to Sleep
There’s so much to do! Don’t give up on sleep. If you do, chances are very good you’ll see everything else slow down to a crawl. Instead, give yourself specific hours where you’ll walk away from the desk and turn off your phone to focus on just sleeping.
6. Create an Overall Routine
There’s a lot to do and remember. If you create a routine, a path that you follow day in and day out, you’ll be more likely to get everything done properly and on time. Throughout your routine, plan to:
- Eat throughout the day
- Place your study time around the time of the day you are at your peak performance
- Include something fun or relaxing each day
- Create manageable goals
- Be flexible enough to meet needs as they change
Of course, you also need to give yourself the time to really enjoy summer. If you fail to do this, you’ll be less likely to stay the course, further delaying the overall process. Whether you study with friends in a relaxed outdoor setting or you just go to the park to read, get outdoors during some of your day to give yourself the ability to enjoy summer.
Ready to get started? Online graduate degrees are out there, and you can get ahead this summer without feeling like you are giving up your free time. Embrace what The University of the Cumberlands can offer to you.