Summer slide, or summer slump, is not just for grade school kids! Anytime you are away from your studies for a period of time, a natural loss of learning occurs.
We want you to stride, not slide! 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.
If you aren't interested in losing any of your newly acquired skills, here are some ways to stay sharp this summer break.
- 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.
- Keep up with 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. Know what's going on in your community, your city, your state, your country and around the world!
- Keep a journal: Writing skills are something you will need 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 will gear you up for a smart semester.
- 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.