Summer Academics: Make the Most of the “Lazy” Months

Posted by Sophie Pauze on 6/13/14 9:38 AM

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So DO something!

I’ve started to notice an interesting shift in my thinking as I enter my late 20s. Up until a few years ago, the summer meant a few straightforward things: a break from school, sun and relaxation, an internship or summer job.  Now that I’m much closer to 30 than 20, a change has taken place in my thinking: I see the summer as a time to get ahead, to achieve a goal, or simply an opportunity to learn something new.

Part of this shift is due to a more practical way of seeing the world – maybe it’s maturity, maybe it’s just loss of whimsy. In any case, I think there are some advantages to developing a skill over the summer:

  • Your workload may be lighter
  • You probably don’t have any classes to attend
  • The days are longer (you literally have more daytime to get things done)
  • Most people have some chunk of time off

With that in mind, let’s do a little exercise. Make a list of 5 things you wish you had done in the past, or you would like to do in the future. Here’s my list:

  • Work with a GRE tutor to prepare for a fall test date
  • Visit New Zealand
  • Take a Chinese class to improve my speaking ability
  • Prep my graduate school application
  • Learn to drive

Make a decision to do just one of these thing over the summer. You’ll thank yourself for checking something off when fall rolls around.

In deciding what to do, weigh your options.  Some things are easier than others. Some are more fun. A GRE tutor is not in the cards for me this summer (not fun), and neither is New Zealand (not easy). As a result, I have decided to learn to drive this summer. Yes, that’s right: I’m 30 in a few years and I’m finally going to learn to drive (luckily, the anonymity of the internet protects me from your laughter).  Raised in urban meccas where driving isn’t needed, I just never got around to it.  Now is the time.

So, what’s your must-do? Is there something you’ve been putting off?  Maybe you have buried it so far into the nether reaches of your mind that you can’t even conjure it. At Cambridge Coaching, we constantly meet students of all ages who are completely uncertain about what to do for the summer, and we’re always thrilled to help them figure out how to get the very most from their time. We have created a vast index of the best summer programs in every subject, from language learning to debate camps, to help our students ensure that they have the most productive, exciting summers possible. Here are some ways that Cambridge Coaching has helped students in the past:

Whatever you do, it’s essential to use the summer to get ahead. Don’t worry, enriching your mind won’t get in the way of a lazy afternoon outside (in fact, you might get so lost in your studies that your tan deepens to a golden brown). But what you will do is stand yourself in excellent stead for the year to come. And most importantly, you’ll never regret learning something new.

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Tags: study skills, summer activities