How to Have a Productive Summer

As we all stagger out of the testing center after our last final and squint into the bright spring sun, most of us turn our thoughts to relaxing and working during the summer break. We certainly don’t think of packing our brains with even more information.

Most of us need the summer break to relieve the stress that comes from a long and hard winter semester. However, after a week or two, teachers and scientists recommend that we start learning again to prevent “summer brain drain,” otherwise known as losing two and a half months of learning over the break.

So what are some ways that college students can prevent the “summer brain drain” while not overloading their delicate summer sensibilities? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Read! Often, students don’t have time to read for pleasure during the school year because their time is otherwise occupied. However, during the spring and summer, homework and studying are not an issue; therefore, let the adventures begin! Reading helps keep your brain active by learning new words, making new connections, and following complex plotlines. It is one of the best things you can do for your brain!
  2. Create something every day! If your major is highly left-brain oriented, you can possibly find that your right brain is feeling slightly neglected throughout the school year. During the summer, flex those intensely creative muscles and create something! It can range from drawing a picture to writing a song to a creating a story to concocting a recipe. Just make sure you are trying something new in a low-pressure environment.
  3. Go on an adventure! Pull a Bilbo Baggins and do something new, like take a weekend trip with friends to a national park or take a day off work to explore a museum that you have never been to. Book learning during the semester is all well and good, but during the summertime, experience something new and exciting! Put yourself in new situations, and you’ll learn more about the world around you than you might have imagined.

These are very basic ideas, but even if you do these simple things you will feel more invigorated and prepared when fall semester swings around the corner.

 

-Mackenzie Brown, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

 

For more information on the science behind learning and for more fun summer ideas, go to the following websites:

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2011/07/50-creative-ways-to-prevent-summer-brain-drain/

http://blog.brainscape.com/2011/06/keep-brain-active-summer/

http://collegelife.about.com/od/cocurricularlife/a/50-Ways-To-Stay-Entertained-Over-A-College-Summer_2.htm

http://www.superscholar.org/features/ten-ways-to-keep-your-brain-healthy-in-college/

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/10/learn-something-new-your-brain-will-thank-you/

 

Picture courtesy of http://www.hws.edu/alumni/pssurvey/summer11/plugging.aspx

Lynn


Marketing Manager