Summer offers great opportunities for fun and relaxation, even for working adults. The beach, swimming, and laying out in the sun are some common activities many people indulge in and use vacation days for. However, summer can offer a great opportunity to take an extra class or two as well, if your working schedule allows.
Those deciding about summer classes need to consider their ability to balance the demands of the class and work with their natural desire to unwind and have fun through the summer months.
Here are some tips for balancing summertime and work with a summer class schedule.
Create a firm schedule and stick to it
To make sure you have plenty of time over the course of the summer to unwind while also keeping up with your work demands, create a firm study schedule. Take out the calendar to markdown when your class meets and dates of major exams so you can schedule in a reasonable amount of time for studying. Also write down any big work meetings or project deadlines you know you have coming up. Then, allow yourself some freedom when you are outside your work hours.
Keep the promise to yourself and remember: as long as you remain focused on your work during the scheduled study blocks and also any major work projects, you can truly enjoy summer during your off-hours.
Take classes for only one part of the summer
You may not have to take classes the entire summer. Many colleges run classes in two main blocks over the summer, with one beginning around late May and the second in July. If your school offers a similar schedule, consider taking classes for just one of the blocks. This will still leave you the other part of the summer to focus on work and also take your trips and enjoy the company of friends and family.
Plan smaller vacations around the class schedule
Those taking summer classes may find that they do not have the flexibility to travel as much or take nice trips that last a week or longer. They do not want to miss classes and also have to consider remaining on top of assignments and exams.
That does not mean that you have to be stuck at home all summer, especially if you have a lot of work projects to balance at the same time. Look into smaller trips that can be planned for a long weekend. It might be a nearby beach, lake, city, national park, or other popular tourist attractions. Something that allows you to get away from your normal environment and routine while also allowing you to remain on a schedule will be priceless.
Work ahead when possible
When everyone around you takes the summer off from classes and likes to spontaneously plan fun get-aways, it can feel challenging to play the role of the one friend who always has to say, “I can’t; I have to study and/or work.”
For this reason, consider working ahead when possible. Often, during the regular semester, you have to balance several classes with an assignment load that keeps you on your toes, with little time to work on them if you’re also working full-time. In the summer, you will likely only take one or two classes. If you have a calm week without as much to do at work or with your schedule, take the opportunity to work ahead. Give yourself that advantage. Getting a head start on assignments and test preparations can help you breathe more easily. You will know that you have a good handle on your schoolwork. Then, when those spontaneous plans arise, you might have the ability to join your friends.
Summer classes offer a great chance to earn some additional credits and take another leap forward toward that sought-after degree. Taking summer classes, however, does not have to mean the end of summer freedom and enjoyment. By using these tips, you can handle balancing summertime with a summer class schedule.
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