How to Stay Academically Motivated During Summer Break
For students across the US, it’s summer break time! Many are using this time to take a break from the rigors of the school year, but the lack of classroom time can lead to “summer brain drain” or the “summer slide,” where students lose some of the academic progress they’ve made over the previous school year. Staying motivated to continue learning, have a productive summer, and prepare for the next school year can be hard, but we’re here to help!
Staying academically motivated during summer break isn’t always top priority for students who are welcoming some time off from school. However, staying on top of your academic and college prep goals doesn’t have to be hard or daunting. In fact, it can be super easy and even fun!
Check Out Some Podcasts, Movies, and More That Relate to Your Interests
One fun way to stay motivated over the summer break is to check out some materials that relate to your interests that you may not have had a chance to explore during the school year. Find some new podcasts to listen to while traveling for a summer trip or use some of your downtime to check out some documentaries or movies on Netflix that align with your core interests. For example, students who have a passion for cooking could watch Chef’s Table, Ugly Delicious, or any of the other varieties of cooking documentaries on the streaming service. What’s better, once you watch one, Netflix will recommend other programming that is similar – giving you plenty of options!
Plan a Productive Summer
We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a productive summer break. Not only will it help your college applications (because admissions officers do want to see how you spend your time off!) it will keep your brain exercised and engaged. A productive summer doesn’t mean that every minute of free time has to be scheduled, but you should make time to continue exploring your interests over the break. Here are a few resources to help you plan a productive summer break:
- How to Plan a Productive Summer Break
- 6 Tips for Planning a Productive Summer
- No Summer Plans? Here’s How to Have a Productive Summer Break
- Summer Activity Planning: How to Make the Most of Your Break
- Juniors: How to Make the Most of Your Summer
- Are You Having a Productive Summer Break?
- Summer Planning Resources For High School Students
Stay on Top of Test Prep
Many students may be planning to take the August SAT or the July ACT, so now is the time to really pay attention to your test prep. Even if you plan to take the SAT or ACT earlier in the fall, like August or September, you still need to be prepping over the summer. Not only will continuing your test prep over the summer help you perform your best on test day, it will also keep your brain exercised and engaged, so that you don’t forget any of the core concepts you have practiced over the past few months in the classroom. Take a look at your testing schedule and map out a test prep plan. And don’t be afraid to reach out to a test prep expert if you need more personalized guidance.
Read, Read, Read, and Read Some More
Outside reading is really important! Not only does it help keep your brain active, but it also can help you better explore topics of interest and can even make you a better writer. If you haven’t been engaging in outside reading, now is a great time to pick up some new books, magazines, and other publications. Find resources that relate to your interests. For example, if you’re really interested in fashion, find some books at your local library about the history of fashion and the origin of famous fashion houses. Also, read for fun! If there’s a new fiction book you’ve been interested in reading – pick it up! As long as you’re reading you’re staying engaged and it can help motivate you to continue reading through the rest of the break. Here are some suggested reading lists developed by our team of experts:
- IvyWise Summer Reading List
- 6 College-Curated Books for Winter Break Outside Reading
- 7 Must-Read Books Students Should Pick Up This Summer
- 8 Summer Reading Suggestions for High School Students
- Recommended Reading for High School Students
Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
While your summer break should be productive, it should also be fun! Don’t be afraid to take some time to yourself to relax, recharge, spend time with family and friends, and take a break from your usual schedule. Go to the movies or a concert. Spend some time doing an activity that you love that may not relate to your academic or college prep goals. Take some time for yourself! After all, you’ve earned it.
Staying motivated during the summer break isn’t always easy, but if you find new and fun ways to engage with your core interests you can fight off summer brain drain while also enjoying your time off from school! If you need help getting on track with your college prep this summer, check out our free College Planning Checklist and contact us today for information on an Initial Consultation.