10 Summer School Survival Tips

Summer is supposed to be a time when you go to the lake with your friends, take road trips to exciting destinations, hangout late at night, spend time with your family, and do all of the things you put on hold for a whole semester (or two).

Yet, you find yourself here, in a UNT classroom. And you probably feel like Ferris Bueller.

On the bright side, at least all the buildings are kept a solid 30 degrees?

Jokes aside, here are some helpful success tips for your summer sessions. Whether you’re powering through a five week course or taking it a little slower with a 10 week, it’s going to be a challenge keeping up with the workload…especially while watching your peers kayak, camp, party, and sleep into the afternoon.

1. Early to bed, early to rise!

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s sometimes so obvious that we overlook it’s importance. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to function like a living human and you can’t get a quality education without quality rest. Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule that can guarantee a healthy 7-9 hours. A great way to help you fall asleep is to make sure you unplug yourself from your phone about an hour or so before going to bed. Stop obsessing over your friends’ snapchat story of a concert or trip across the country. Relax before bed! Take that time to disengage from the world and soak it in. That way you can wake up feeling refreshed in the morning!

2. Eat a healthy breakfast!

I know, another obvious tip. However, sometimes we skip breakfast or only eat the nearest, quickest thing in order to get on with our day. As they have told us since childhood, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Skipping or skimming it can cost you the energy you’ll need to get through the day. Make sure it’s healthy, full of good protein and some tasty fruit! Don’t have time to cook or stop somewhere? Why worry? You know we’ve got your back. At the Union, you have plenty of options to choose from, from Starbucks to Jamba Juice, and even our Corner Store has some appetizing items! Unlike the other two, the Corner Store won’t hit your wallet too hard (although, let’s be honest, we all want to try Starbucks’s S’mores Frappuccino).

3. Hydration is everything!

Hello! It’s north Texas! Temperatures are expected to get as high as 100 degrees by mid-July. And after that? Well, to put it lightly, August is going to be no cake walk. Unless it’s a cake walk through California’s Death Valley, then perhaps. Hydration in this kind of heat is going to be absolutely necessary. And not just because it’s good for your body, but also because optimal brain health means greater success in your classes! It’s a win-win. And we’re here to make sure you keep on winning! The Barnes and Noble has plenty of UNT spirited water bottles to choose from and our Corner Store is stocked full with bottled water. Doing that BYOB? There are several water fountains at your disposal in the Union to refill your bottle at!

4. Find the perfect planner! And use it.

Planners are life changers and savers. Nothing gives you that illusion of productivity more than purchasing a brand new planner or notebook. But turn that illusion into a reality and get in the habit of writing everything down! Take a good, hard look at that syllabus and write down the due dates of your assignments, homework, quizzes, and tests. Science says that writing things down helps you remember it better, and who argues with science? Flat-earthers, maybe, but we’re college students. We trust the science. So take the scientific advice and start writing down what your assignments are and when they’re due. It’ll help the information stick. Also, you’ll always have an accessible place to locate due dates when you have that sixth-sense feeling that something is due soon. Who wants to keep a ten page syllabus on hand? No-one. Head to Barnes and Noble and pick up a super cute, trendy planner or notebook! It’ll save you plenty of stress in the long run! You’ll be developing a good habit and on your way to success in no time!

5. Bring a cardigan/light sweater.

Okay, so that joke earlier about the UNT buildings being freezing? Yeah, that’s real. If you’re new to UNT, or just keep forgetting about how cold they are, make sure you carry a cardigan or light sweater in your bag. It may seem annoying to have to dress for the humidity and heat that seems to vomit over Denton and then have to carry a light sweater. However, you won’t regret it. It’ll help you focus in class instead of ruminating over how cold the room is. Don’t be like that “froze” pupper. Be a smart human. Stay warm in the buildings. (Seriously.)

6. Commuters: Leave home early.

It’s DFW. Take a hint. The last thing you want is to get stuck in traffic, especially when it’s 9:48 and class starts at 10 and your professor takes attendance very seriously. It never looks good when you’re begging via email not to penalize you for missing class because of traffic. Because traffic is totally out of our control…or is it? If you leave early enough to beat the traffic, you could make it to campus 20 minutes before class starts! And you could make the most of those 20 minutes by reviewing notes, finishing the assigned reading, or working on an assignment. Another win-win to help you succeed in your summer classes!

7. Get to campus early because…parking…

This kind of piggy-backs onto the last tip because making it to campus earlier will make it easier to some prime parking spaces. As any familiar UNT student knows, the struggle is real. Parking can be extremely hard to come by. And when parking passes are about as expensive as textbooks, is it really worth it? Showing up to campus late can cost you a good parking space near your class, which can make you even more late because then you’ll have to walk from some random street a block away and who wants to deal with that? In this heat? Save yourself the trouble and get to campus early! There are plenty of productive ways to kill time before class.

8. Online classes? Make BlackBoard your new BFF!

So maybe five through seven don’t apply so much because you were lucky enough to snag that online class. Don’t overlook the importance of one and three though! Taking care of yourself is the cornerstone to success. And making sure that you’re engaged in the class also makes a difference. Keep up with everything on BlackBoard! Check it every morning when you wake up and make sure to keep with the assignments that are on the syllabus. We all fall victim to procrastination. It affects one in five adults! (Not a real statistic, but it may as well be.) You may be one of those adults that suffers from procrastination. Kick that habit this summer! Get really close with BlackBoard this summer and keep up with everything on it. Life hack: it’s also available as an app for your smart phone! It doesn’t matter if you have an Android or an iPhone, the BlackBoard app is waiting to help you. Take advantage of it this summer.

9. Be wise with your time!

Summer is going to fly by. And not because “time flies when you’re having fun,” because…well, it’s summer school. It’s going to fly by because you have to complete assignments at a far quicker pace! Obviously. A five week course is going to feel like a minute in comparison to a full 16 week semester. So learn to manage your time this summer. Every minute counts. Being wise with your time means making sure that you’re keeping up with assignments, homework, and reading on a regular basis. Sitting out by the pool? Bring your textbook so you can read those chapters while getting a good tan! Sitting around a friend’s apartment on your phone? Bust out your laptop and get some homework done! Then resume the mindless scrolling and meme sharing. Want to go out with friends tonight? Make sure to check BlackBoard to ensure you’re caught up, then let loose. Definitely have fun, but also remember that the class is shorter than a regular semester, so it’ll go by much faster. Do your best to keep up by avoiding procrastination.

10. Remember why you’re here!

Although nobody really wants to spend their warm summer days in a classroom, you know why you’re here. Either you have to retake a class or are trying to get one over with. Because, the more classes down, the closer we are to graduating! Let that be your motivation when you’re watching someone’s snapchat story of their trip to California or Florida. Be confident in knowing that, although summer school isn’t glamorous or exciting, taking these classes are getting you closer to receiving that praised degree. That’s something to be proud of. Sure, summer trips are fun, but working hard to get an education is brag-worthy too. Also, find comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. You’re not the only person struggling to get through summer school. Look around your classroom! Plenty of people do it and for the same reason. You are in this together! There’s something comforting in comradery. And there’s something inspiring in remembering why you started in the first place. Never forget that.

Good luck to all students making it through summer school. Your hard work and dedication make us proud. You’ve got this!