"How To: Prep for the Next Semester Over Break"
We made it, everyone; it’s the home stretch. The end of the Spring Semester means Summer Break, and many of us are already purchasing plane tickets, pulling out the Tupperware containers of summer clothes, or writing an automatic e-mail reply so we can hibernate for three months. However – and I know this is a blasphemous thing to say on the cusp of freedom from school – how about not ditching your school books and prepping for the next semester?
- Know what’s going on with your school life. In order to properly prepare for the next semester, you need to know what’s going on with your grades right now, and there really is only one person responsible for that: you. Talk with your professors, review the grades for exams and papers this semester, and find out whether you’re doing well (or not) in certain classes. This can really help if you’re suddenly failing a class and have to retake it in the fall. Knowing what classes you need to take is helpful as well, because you can decide the steps you need to take to prepare for getting the best grade that you can get.
- Consider summer classes. Summer classes aren’t very fun, I’ll admit, but if taking just one summer course (which usually lasts about a month, tops) can be the gateway towards an easier course load in the fall. If, for example, you take a gym class over the summer, you may be able to either not have to take a class in the fall, or could fill that spot with another course.
- Self-help books for the win! If you know what courses you’re taking for the summer, why not self-medicate, minus WebMD? While typing in your physical ailments into Google might yield such unsatisfactory leads as “unfortunately, you have a rare illness never seen before”, typing in inquiries about your coursework may yield unexpected gems. There are loads of videos, articles, advice, and even homework practice problems that you can do for your courses in the fall. A more helpful solution, however, is utilizing a review book from the education section of your library. Remember where you spent your days when studying for the SAT? There are review books for many different courses, especially math and the sciences. You can give yourself a carry-along crash course, no matter where you go. Vacation, here I come!
- Talk to a counselor. Of course, if you really have no idea how to prepare for an upcoming semester, it may be good to consult a counselor for ideas of how to proceed. Counselors usually have solid advice as to preparing for classes, graduation, and other woes of the average college student, and can sometimes even refer you to the professors you need to talk to directly. Remember, however; keep it professional. The counselor is not your therapist, but a guide. They aren’t telling you how to live your life – just giving you suggestions on your well-being.
- Consider an internship. You scoff. “I’m not going to be stuck on Long Island all summer break,” you say. “I’m going to see the world this summer break, and you can’t stop me.” Well…who said internships would stop you? Internships are not restricted to Long Island – they can be anywhere. They can offer you valuable experience and insight into your career of choice, and can even be fun. If an internship isn’t quite your cup of tea, consider a summer job or volunteer work that you can put towards your community service credit. It definitely wouldn’t work.
Sure, summer is a time for unwinding and relaxing after a particularly harrowing semester, and the last thing any college student wants to do is look forward to a nice, long summer vacation fraught with self-assigned homework, internships, and interviews. However, it doesn’t take that much time to consider your future self, caught in yet another harrowing semester. Similar to how present you thanks past you when you go to bed early and get up refreshed, the you of the fall semester will be incredibly grateful if you dedicate a little time towards easing the burden. Have a great summer vacation, everybody!