How to Survive Summer and Avoid Learning Loss

As summer approaches, students worldwide celebrate and embrace a break from academic demands, often experiencing a sense of learning loss. It’s a well-deserved respite from the rigors of scholarly life, with favorable weather and the understanding that youth is fleeting – or so it seems. However, this perspective is flawed. Summer presents an ideal opportunity to delve into your passions and strive for personal growth. It might be the time to embark on a fitness journey or finally put pen to paper for that long-contemplated novel. In Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69,” he and his band persevered through challenges. Members changed their paths and encountered life’s lessons, regardless of the extent of their accomplishments. The summer season offers an apt occasion to reflect on your life’s ambitions and take decisive steps towards attaining them. Aspiring entrepreneurs might seek apprenticeships, budding musicians can assemble bands, and prospective journalists can contribute stories to local newspapers. Balancing your pursuits doesn’t mean forsaking camaraderie with friends, cherished family moments, or a vacation. Striking a harmonious equilibrium between advancing your education and enjoying life’s pleasures is achievable. These insights serve as a guide to seamlessly integrating your educational journey with the joys of existence.  

Get an internship

Enrolling in an internship offers an excellent opportunity to enhance your skills while gaining valuable hands-on experience. It’s a way to tackle the age-old issue of entry-level jobs requiring prior experience. Some employers might even provide compensation for your time. For those who don’t, they usually offer references and additional perks that enhance the deal.

College summer camp

Participating in a summer camp is a fantastic method to connect with like-minded individuals while honing your expertise in your chosen field. Moreover, specialized camps cater to specific interest groups, while broader ones focus on sports, music, or arts.

Learn a new language

Acquiring a new language is valuable in various ways. It broadens your horizons, introduces you to new cultures, and proves beneficial when seeking jobs or traveling. At the very least, it adds another skill to your resume. In the best scenario, it can become a career choice. Learning a second language is also believed to enhance brain function and slow down cognitive aging.

Try field trips

This tip applies regardless of your interests. There’s always something to learn, and often you can visit a location to observe something firsthand. If art fascinates you, visit an art gallery. If construction intrigues you, explore inspiring architectural marvels. Aspiring programmers can attend hackathons or expos. The possibilities are extensive.

Teach yourself programming skills

Programmers are perpetually in demand, and college students, in particular, are well-positioned to leverage new technologies for earnings. Remember, Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook while at Harvard. Additionally, programming need not be overly complex, with numerous free tutorials available. Some programming languages are more challenging than others. Learning HTML, for instance, can be beneficial, especially if aiming for a marketing role.

Watch documentaries and TED Talks on Netflix

You may have noticed that adopting these tips doesn’t necessitate major lifestyle changes. If you’re already watching Netflix, swapping a documentary for the latest episode of Orange is the New Black is manageable. Documentaries and TED Talks combine entertainment with education, making them enjoyable and informative choices.

Visit museums

Museums offer the unique opportunity to learn from the past and apply insights to the future. Furthermore, combining this with tip four can transform it into a field trip. If you’re traveling specifically to visit a museum, consider notifying the curator in advance. They might offer behind-the-scenes access or share lesser-known information.

Improve your writing skills

Proficient writing in your native language is crucial, as it’s a valuable skill in its own right, contributing to favorable first impressions. You needn’t undertake a course or write a novel. Starting a blog can suffice to prompt reflection on language use and its impact. If pursuing a new language, remember to practice writing alongside speaking and listening.

Take an online summer course

Online courses cover an array of subjects, making them ideal for nurturing new talents or fostering existing interests. You can learn knitting, drawing, singing, game development, home rewiring, car modification, and much more. Choose wisely to align with your goals.

Learn to do something *artistic* like draw or dance

Artistic expression, regardless of proficiency, encourages novel thinking and imparts new skills. Whether knitting or origami, any creative pursuit enhances your learning drive. Embracing lifelong learning by continually acquiring new skills is immensely beneficial.

Listen to educational podcasts

Podcasts are convenient for multitasking, suitable for listening while driving, cycling, or walking. Although passive, they effectively utilize your time for both entertainment and learning. Keep in mind that podcast quality varies, as they can be produced by almost anyone.

Improve your speed reading

The average adult reads at 250 words per minute, but college students reach around 300. Faster reading enhances information absorption, and various speed-reading techniques exist. Some claim to boost reading speed by 300% in just 20 minutes. Mastery of speed reading or even incremental improvements can greatly benefit your lifelong learning journey.

Conclusion

It’s important to note that summer isn’t solely about work. Everyone deserves a break, and vacations exist for good reason. Interestingly, studies suggest that taking more time off can enhance productivity upon returning to work. Nevertheless, summer presents an opportune time for self-development, whether it involves learning a musical instrument or delving into Shakespearean works. Determining the best utilization of your time lies within your hands. Ultimately, the key is balance. Reward yourself with a vacation when desired, especially after a busy semester. Yet, if you find yourself idly surfing Netflix for the next show, consider opting for a bit of self-improvement instead. You won’t regret it.