Summer slide, or summer slump, is the loss of learning over the summer break that occurs while students are out of school. While it is often associated with grade school, summer slide can affect college students as well.
A student of any age who does not read over the summer months, does not review their material from previous months and years or fails to practice recently developed skills can lose a lot of what they learned during the school year. This summer brain drain can make diving into the fall semester especially difficult, particularly from a motivational aspect. Students learn best when instruction is continuous and there are plenty of opportunities for practice.
Here are some ways to prevent summer slide as a college student!
- Stay in school: Even if you just take one course, remaining in the school mindset over the summer break has benefits that instantly carry over into the next semester. Students who continue to complete coursework, observe lectures and study for exams have a leg up on their counterparts.
- Hit the library: Whether fiction or something applicable to your studies, reading books is the best way to expand your vocabulary, increase your knowledge and further tune those analytical text skills.
- Get hands-on experience: Paid jobs, volunteer work and internships are great ways to gain experience in the field of your choice. Having relevant experience to your area of study also looks great on future job applications.
- Learn a new language: Physiological studies have proven that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. The bilingual brain operates differently than single language speakers, and in a good way. It also benefits your concentration and long- and short-term memory.
- Travel to a foreign country: Getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to keep your brain sharp. Being forced to pay attention to your surroundings, learn about different cultures and experience other foods, customs and languages has lifelong benefits.
- Keep a journal: Writing skills are something you will need in some shape or form forever. Making a commitment to journaling multiple times a week provides an outlet for your mind to focus, and also is a great memento to leave with later generations.
- Read and watch the news: Being informed about important current and world events makes you smarter and a better conversationalist. An aware individual makes for a more productive member of society.