3 Faculty-Tested Tips to Succeed in School AND Have Fun This Summer
Greetings, Grantham University students. It is I, Professor Diggs, and I’m returning to the GU blog to post a timely article on how students taking online courses can still have fun this summer. Yes, it is very possible.
Without missing a beat, I am back home in Texas after a five-week vacation combing more than 6,000 miles to the Pacific Northwest. Believe it or not, you can still have fun while working (remotely!) or pursuing an education (remotely!). I’m proof of that.
With that in mind, I wanted to provide students in online degree programs three useful tips that helped me through my five-week vacation – tips that I think would be practical to the everyday student who is juggling so many priorities (whether it’s school, work, family or military obligations).
1. Set aside time every day to do your work.
Sure, we only have so much time in the day, but be sure you do what you can, when you can. Summer is full of fun activities, but you’ve made a smart decision by enrolling online. You can work on assignments whenever it's most convenient. Take advantage by setting aside time each day to complete coursework. You’ll still have time for fun if you plan ahead.
Online students with families (particularly adult learners caring for young children) may be able to relate to my situation. I don’t often read for pleasure since I read so much for school, but for 15-20 minutes a day, I read my twin girls (almost 2) journal articles from the library. Younger kids don’t need the rhyme or the iambic pentameter (fellow GU instructor and wordsmith Tim Goss would be proud of that reference!) for auditory success; they just need time and attention.
Whether you’re reading children your research paper or your Criminal Justice book, setting aside time and maintaining your schedule are important keys to success while you’re studying this summer.
2. Stay afloat (and work ahead when you can).
A primary key to my success on the trip to the Pacific Northwest was staying current with my work. I only got behind once – and that was just for a few hours – when I was in a hotel without Internet connection. I then restructured the next day to make sure I had the time to do what I needed to do.
It’s much easier to float when you’re already above water than when you’re 10 feet below water chained down. Work ahead when you can.
If I was getting significantly behind, I would have contacted my dean and talked to him. Likewise, students, if you’re getting chained down, contact your instructors. Be proactive and see if they can help. They won’t reduce your workload or make assignments easier, but perhaps they can offer tips and helpful hints. Even if they can’t, making them aware of your situation is a sure-fire way to position yourself for success in the long-term.
3. Soak up the fun days!
The days I went to Sea World and Disneyland, I was so energized to come home and grade after a full day of activities. Why? Because I had fun.
When you have fun, your brain is energized, and you’re ready to get to work. You have a positive attitude. You realize that hard work leads to success, and having fun is an important part of that.
For our military members in the field, I recommend attending a unit event or having a Skype conversation with a loved one. You may be surprised how much more motivated you’ll be to take care of schoolwork after a really good day. If you have a bad day, get some sleep and come back to your assignments later.
By taking courses this summer, you will put yourself a little bit closer to joining us on August 11 in Kansas City, site of YOUR live Commencement Ceremony. See you all in August! (And much sooner in the blogosphere!)
For complete information about Grantham University's 2012 Commencement Ceremony - including cap/gown details, location/directions and travel options - visit our Commencement page by clicking the image below.
About the author: Matt Diggs is a faculty member at Grantham University who teaches the capstone seminar that all Multidisciplinary degree students must complete. He also teaches a variety of social science electives in the College of Arts and Sciences.