Most summer learning programs are designed for younger students. A summer program or a list of books to checkout from the library is all it takes to help kids stay academically active over the summer months and ready to take on the next school year.
But what about college students? After a stressful senior year in high school or a challenging semester in college, many students are inclined to take a break from learning before the next semester. This can do more harm than good. Putting the brakes on learning at any point in one’s life is discouraged, especially in college where we hope students are learning knowledge is power, knowledge is infinite, and knowledge fades if it’s not put to use.
It’s not too late in the summer for college students to reengage their minds and pick up some healthy learning habits before the summer gets away from them. In her recent article, “Four Ways to Prepare for College This Summer,” Jill Rooney encourages college students to make the most out of their summer by doing at least one of the following:
- Take An Online Course: It might be too late in the summer semester to sign up for an online course that is for credit through your school, however, universities like Stanford, MIT, and Harvard offer free online courses you can take at your own pace in your downtime. Dedicate an hour a day to your online studies and take them just as seriously as you would a traditional class. If you need help to get ready, try KEYS TO SUCCESS FOR ON-LINE LEARNERS.
- Read with Purpose. Login to your school website and see if any of your teachers have posted a course syllabi. Buy your books for next semester and start reading your assignments for the first few weekes. It never hurts to get ahead and lighten the work load of the semester.
- Get Steeped in Culture. Go to as many cultural events this summer as you can. There are festivals, museums, art fairs, gallery openings, and more in your town. Take a friend along and have discussions about your culture or a new culture you were exposed to.
- Assess Yourself. Look for online assessments where you can test your skills. Take a grammar, math, or foreign language quiz to see where you need more work. LifeBound has several free on-line assessments to help you look at your finances, how you approach college, and how you think.
These are great ideas for college students. I also came up with a few options to add to the list:
- Read, period. During the college years, students won’t have a lot of time to read for their own enjoyment. Students should take this time to read magazines, graphic novels, fiction, nonfiction, and anything in between. For entering freshmen, they can also pick up a book like Majoring in the Rest of Your Life: Career Secrets for College Students which will keep them reading while learning about the new chapter in their life.
- Write. College students write a lot. There’s no way around it. Start keeping a journal or write a story to make writing a habit, keep ideas flowing, and improve your comfort level with the written language.
- Start a Healthy Habit. The college schedule is packed. Now is the time to set a healthy habit in motion, whether it’s eating right, exercising, reading more, spending more time with your family, or getting enough sleep. Research how to make a new habit stick. Use this same process next semester when making a study schedule.
Students, college or otherwise, can adopt any combination of these commitments and still have enough time left over to relax and recharge.
“Four Ways to Prepare for College This Summer,” by Jill Rooney. 15 June 2012. Mind/Shift. Accessed on 18 June 2012. http://blogs.kqed.org/