Balancing School and Summer: How to Make It Work

May 15, 2022

When you were an elementary school student, summertime was an extended break to relax, unwind, enjoy beautiful weather, and spend time with friends and family. But when you moved to college, summers probably became a little different. These four years often come with more responsibilities, and it can be harder to capture that original summer fun. 

This is especially true if you’re taking summer classes in college so that you can either graduate early or, well, graduate on time. But the truth is that you can absolutely still enjoy the sun-soaked freedom that only a student in the summertime is typically afforded. It’s all about learnings how to strike the perfect balance between books and the beach; trust us, you don’t have to give up the fun just yet.

To help you live these next few months to the fullest, we’ve created this survival guide for taking summer classes in college. No, your days may not feel as full of endless possibilities—you still probably have to pay rent and finish midterm papers. But if you do it right, you’ll wind up with plenty of great summertime memories and ace those crucial credits.

Create a Schedule and Stick to It

We know what you’re thinking about: throwing your student planner out the window on the final day of spring semester. If you’re taking summer classes in college, you might want to rethink that tradition. Chucking a planner out your window to commence a summer season is not only an act of pollution (#savetheplanet), but it’s also going to really hamper your ability to maximize the free time you’ve got.

Do your best to create a schedule that you can stick to. Set aside specific time for homework and studying and time for total freedom. If you don’t do this, the two will inevitably bleed together. You’ll never quite get your work done or enjoy your summer!

Plan Out Leisurely Activities

If you can create a clear picture of all of the fun you want to have this summer, you’ll be able to plan ahead and crunch the numbers to make it happen. Think of it like this: if you’re going on a road trip with some friends, it will require X amount of days off and Y amount of money. That’s your summertime happiness equation; use it to plan how much money you need to save or how much homework you need to do in advance. 

Make Small Sacrifices in Favor of the Bigger Picture

Let’s stick with the road trip example: if you’ve got big plans coming up but a paper due along the way, you need to plan ahead. Pulling a late night at the library now to ensure you don’t miss out on any assignments while you’re gone is worth it. You want to make your trip as stress-free as possible, right?

Don’t Procrastinate

There’s a chance that procrastination is one of the several reasons you’re taking summer classes in college. But that doesn’t mean the procrastination has to continue! You’re a few weeks older and wiser now, and you can make a change. Buckle down during the quieter summer nights and get started on assignments ahead of you. You won’t regret it!

Compact Your Schedule into One Session

You may feel that taking multiple courses at once will put a damper on your ability to reclaim those boundless summer days of your K-12 youth. If you want to have true vacation time without responsibilities, don’t be afraid to get it over with all at once! Stack your classes and dig in like it’s fall semester. You’ll thank yourself when your schedule clears, and you can finally make the most of your summer.

Make the Most of Your Academic Journey

If you’re interested in learning more about how best to enjoy your time at Clemson, the Epoch Student Living team can give you some ideas. Reach out to learn more about our housing solutions, or check out our blog page for more fun and informative tips. Now get out there and have fun—and wear sunscreen!