8 Ways to Make Summer Classes More Interesting

Taking summer school is a responsible choice that can make the rest of a uni student’s year run smoothly. To help you out, here are eight ways to make your university summer classes more interesting.

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Taking summer school is a responsible choice that can make the rest of a uni student’s year run smoothly. Still, it can be hard spending your time in a class or studying while everyone else is enjoying their summer in New Zealand. However, there are ways to take summer classes and still have fun!

To help you out, here are eight ways to make your university summer classes more interesting:

1. Make Friends in your Classes                                                            

A guaranteed way to spend summer with your friends while attending summer school is to make friends in your uni classes. Summer school is an excellent opportunity to make new friends as the classes are usually much smaller, making it easier to meet and run into the same students. At the same time, the more intense coursework is usually an effective bonding experience between you and your classmates. 
 

2. Study in New Places

Just because you’re in summer school, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still use your summer to explore. Keep your study routine fresh by switching up your study location. There are spots all around New Zealand that make for exciting study spots. For example, you might try a new café by the beach or a shady location at your favourite park. Try to develop a list of study spots that you won’t regret spending your summer at!

3. Illustrate your Notes

Writing or typing out your lecture notes is an effective way of recording them, but it can get a little old with too much repetition. If you’re a visual learner or like to draw, think about other ways to take or re-write your uni notes. Try making mind maps, diagrams, and use lots of colours to make the process of both note-taking and revisiting your notes more interesting. If you’re feeling creative, you can even try to integrate your condensed version of your notes into your doodles. Or, if you like graphic design, you can turn your notes into an infographic. There are many ways to make your uni notes more exciting and visually appealing, so experiment with a few different options to find something you enjoy.


4. Make up a Mnemonic to Help you Remember the Content

A mnemonic learning technique usually includes a pattern of letters and associations to help with information retention. There is a range of different mnemonics you can try. A simple example of a mnemonic device is the phrase ‘Never Ever Smash Windows’, which people use to remember compass directions (North, East, South, West). While you’re sitting in your university lectures or revising, later on, try thinking about fundamental concepts that you’ll need to remember, then see if you can come up with a fun mnemonic device to help you out!

5. Think About the Material from a New Perspective

As a student, it’s often easy to see the material we learn at university as limited to lecture slides or pages in a textbook that you must understand to pass your exams. To make your classes more interesting, try finding other perspectives to view your course content. For example, you might think about how the material relates to everyday life, the types of problems it could help solve, or how it might relate to your future career. Think about why you’re learning the content, not just what it is and don’t be afraid of challenging your assumptions and understanding multiple points of view on the subject!


6. Invest in Stationery/Desk Equipment 

If you’re taking summer school, the least you can do is treat yourself to a little something for your hard work. A lovely notebook, comfortable pens, and some fun highlighters might be just what you need for an added boost of motivation. Outside the lecture theatre, there are various things you can add to your study space to make it more interesting such as a pot plant or aesthetic pen holder.

7. Reward Yourself for Completing University Work

Rewards are a great way to stay interested and focused throughout the summer school. For example, you might reward yourself for attending a university lecture by getting lunch with your friends afterwards or reward yourself for each hour of study with twenty minutes of Netflix. Don’t forget to plan a significant reward when you finally finish exams! Most universities in New Zealand finish summer school one to two weeks before the start of the next semester, which gives students just enough time to go on a road trip or have a gaming marathon.


8. Read (or sing) Your Notes Out Loud 

For those auditory learners out there (or any student who doesn’t like reading and writing), you can try reading your notes out loud and even making voice recordings of them to listen to later. If you like music, you can also try writing a song out of your notes and setting it to a catchy tune you like, or even one you’ve composed yourself. In addition to being fun, this can also be a great study tool – think about how easy it is to remember song lyrics!

Every student deserves to enjoy their summer to the fullest – no matter how they’re spending it! If you’re a uni student attending summer school, hopefully, this list helped give you some ideas for making your summer classes more interesting. Summer school is as enjoyable as you make it, so try thinking outside the box to find other exciting ways to spend it. Here’s to a productive and enjoyable summer!

-  Wendy Xu, Nxtstep Content Writer

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