Six ways to stay focused during summer school

You may be taking summer courses, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a vacation too.


With the sunshine and the smell of backyard cookouts around you, staying focused during summer courses can be a challenge. But summer school can be an opportunity to repeat a course to replace a low grade, boost your GPA, stay on track for graduation, or to complete a prerequisite for your upcoming semester.

Summer classes are condensed courses that generally run from six to eight weeks and may be offered online or in-class. If they aren’t operating on a quarterly schedule, most schools will hold two sessions of classes throughout the summer, and course credit per class is usually the same as regular semester classes. Because of their condensed time frame, summer classes can be more rigorous. Make sure not to overload your schedule by enrolling in three or less summer classes.

Here are six ways to stay focused and in-tune to your summer course work.

1. Maintain a routine

It’s important to hold on to the study habits you use over the school year. Extend them through your summer session and you’ll be in the zone.

2. Allow time to relax

Summer classes can feel overwhelming because of their crunched timeline. Remember to take breaks, get outside, and maintain your social life as much as your class schedule allows.

3. Connect with classmates

Talking to classmates or friends who are also enrolled in summer courses will help you keep your eye on the prize. Create study groups at the beach or a nearby park to keep each other motivated through the session.

4. Go online or local

If possible, save time (and money) commuting to campus by taking your summer courses online. Or, try to see if you can complete your courses at a local college and transfer the credits — this option may not be possible for your university, so make sure to check with your dean before enrolling.

5. Reward yourself

You may be taking classes, but summer can still be a time to have fun. Reward yourself with your favorite summer outing after acing an exam or completing a project that you worked hard on.

6. Set a goal and remember why you’re there

Is it to boost your GPA or complete a prerequisite? Whatever the reason, set a goal for the next six to eight weeks and post it at your desk. Remind yourself why you enrolled in summer courses and why they’re important to you and your studies.