So we all know how rough college can be, and for those of you taking summer course you really know what I’m talking about. The idea of taking summer courses is all fun and games until you actually do it, then it takes away ALL your fun and games. Whether you’re taking face to face classes or online, it’s super tough to balance all your school work and still have time to relax and enjoy your summer! This doesn’t just apply to school but maybe you have a summer job that’s really taking up your time and you’re not sure how to continue making the bucks and being able to still see your friends, go shopping, have lunch, or whatever it is you love to do in the summer. So I pulled together 6 ways that I successfully balance my summer classes and my job, while still laying out by the pool or taking road trips!
#1 STAYING ORGANIZED
Ok I know what you’re thinking, of course I would say stay organized that’s a given, but it’s important to know HOW to stay organized. I love to keep a planner, especially in the summer it’s hard to keep so much on your mind at once, and school is usually the first thing I forget about. Getting a cute, decorated planner with highlighters and sticky notes always draws in my attention and makes me want to fill it up with notes. In the beginning of the week get all the things you need to do for the week and plan it out; exams, work shifts, events, anything. Then throughout the week you can change and alter them as deadlines come and go and new plans with friends come up. It’s such a good feeling to see your whole week planned out right in front of you and it eliminates SOO much stress.
#2 DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE FUN
Yeah, this is the part that really sucks about being in summer school, but if you truly care about your grades it’s the worst feeling ever to be having fun and suddenly realize you have 30 minutes to turn in a 5 page philosophy paper. I recommend, if you have the time, to do your homework first thing in the morning or first available time in the day. I get so stressed thinking about an upcoming assignment and I definitely do not want to feel stressed all day long when I can just get it over with. Of course with it being summer it’s definitely easier said than done to get all your work done but if you have a few hours try to do as much work as possible because it will make your busy days so much less stressful.
#3 ON FREE DAYS, GO CRAZY!
My biggest fear about enrolling in summer courses was that I wouldn’t have the summer I wanted and it wouldn’t feel like a break. Something I found beneficial for myself was when I am free, to do as much as possible. Of course you need a few free days to just relax and catch up on all that sleep you lost from that chemistry test the week before, I really like to load up my schedule with plans with friends, shopping, exploring the town, vacations, amusement parks, you name it!! I worried about looking back at my summer and only recalling studying and lots of work shifts, but by trying to make the most of your time it really helps you accomplish everything you hoped for in the summer.
#4 PLAN AHEAD
being so busy in the summer really puts a limit on spontaneous plans. No more last minute trips or GNO’s because, sadly, that’s what adulting is about. I think it helps a lot to plan what you’re going to do ahead of time so you know how to make the most of everything. This relates back to both staying organized and enjoying your free days, but I thought it deserved its own category because planning ahead can also mean canceling plans because of school or work priorities. I know it’s such a bummer to see everyone else having fun but you gotta do what you gotta do to get that degree, and trust me if you’re ignoring your responsibilities to have fun, you won’t really be having fun. Make sure to set your priorities and plan out how you’re going to spend your time. As an example I usually have to plan ahead on seeing my friends, family, and boyfriend because school and work can become so overwhelming you forget to be with those you love and enjoy to be around.
#5 DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF
I personally view school very seriously and take pride in my accomplishments, but you can’t let it run your life. When you’re 40 years old you aren’t going to look back and remember that one assignment you accidentally turned in late or that one test you got a B on when it should have been an A. You are going to look back on all the awesome memories you had and all the people who were by your side during it. Going to school and being dedicated is so important, but many students forget that they still need to live and its okay to not be perfect. You will graduate, so just breathe. College is different for everyone and some like to be strict and perfect while others are more laid back with their studies, but no matter what, if you want it you will get your degree one way or another. Just remember you’re only human and if that means hanging with your friends late on a night you should be studying, let it be, just don’t make a habit of it!
#6 TAKE ONLINE COURSES!
I know this isn’t always possible but I have noticed it is the best option! If you’re the type of person that really needs that extra push to get things done then this probably isn’t for you but I think it’s a great option for the summer. There’s so much flexibility and you can virtually do your school assignments anywhere so vacations aren’t a problem. With my experiences with online classes I have noticed it really doesn’t take up much time and gives you a lot more freedom. Also, most online courses will allow you to work ahead which is super helpful if you know you have upcoming events or plans.
I hope you guys enjoyed these tips that I use every day and I really hope they help you! Please comment and tell me how you balance your busy schedule because I am always in need of new tips! College is one of the most stressful and wonderful years of your life and I am on the same journey you are!
much love, Sydnee