Beating the Summer School Blues
June 23, 2016
By: Michelle Kizer
Summer is finally here! The weather is beautiful, and it’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy everything nature has to offer: swimming, hiking, kayaking, lying in the sun…But wait, there is just one thing standing in your way: SUMMER SCHOOL. How can you possibly enjoy the summer when you have so much work to complete? And how can you possibly complete all of that class work with so much restless summer energy? Even though you may be feeling down and out about your situation, all hope is not lost for the summer.
Here are a few steps you can take to beat the summer school blues.
Get Organized & Plan Ahead
Before getting depressed about your summer classes, sit down and try to organize your summer so that you do not feel overwhelmed. This simply involves informing yourself of what is expected of you throughout the summer semester. You can do this by reviewing course syllabi and any other course materials to which you have access. With this knowledge you can make a schedule for yourself that includes time for work and time for fun. For example, if you see a week on your syllabus when the workload seems lighter, plan your work sessions earlier in the week so that you can schedule in a hike or a trip to the pool for the weekend. Or is there a weekend where your only assignment is to read a few chapters? Schedule in a mini beach or camping trip and complete your reading outdoors. By organizing your summer work and planning ahead, you can give yourself the opportunity to relax and have fun!
Bring Your Work Outside
As we have all learned from sitting through class each day, shutting yourself indoors is not always conducive to productivity. In fact, it can be quite distracting when the calls of nature can be heard from outside. So now that the weather is warm and sunny, instead of shutting yourself indoors, consider taking your work outside with you. A simple change in scenery, temperature, and air quality can really help in boosting motivation. So if it happens to be a nice day out, find a quiet area outside where you can enjoy everything nature has to offer while completing your work. And if you find yourself becoming too distracted to work outside or if it happens to rain, consider taking your work with you to a new indoor location, such as a coffee shop or a library. This is not only a great way to reduce stress and clear your mind, but it can also help you gain a brighter outlook on the days ahead of you.
Exercise is known to have many positive benefits for mental health. In fact, scientific evidence shows that exercise stimulates brain cell development, improves memory retention, increases focus and concentration, boosts mood, and relieves stress. In other words, exercise provides important benefits that contribute to student success. For this reason, it is very important that you engage in some form of regular physical activity. This can include anything from visiting the gym and lifting weights to playing basketball with your friends or taking your dog for a walk. There are many locations both on and off-campus to exercise. On campus, you can visit the Student Recreation Center, the Dwight W. Quinn Recreation Center, or the Mt. Mitchell Life Fitness Centre. If you want to go off campus, consider hiking on the Greenway Trail or visiting the many scenic trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway. By taking a little time for yourself, you can ensure that you feel your best both physically and mentally.
In addition to all of the above suggestions, do not forget to make use of the many resources that Appalachian State University has available to assist you. This includes the University Writing Center. Writing consultants are available to help you with any type of writing at any stage of the writing process. This includes personal writing, academic writing, and professional writing. Come by and visit us as you work through the summer semester!