When I decided to take classes this summer, I tried surfing the Internet for tips. Not many came up. Due to a lack of results, I've had to navigate this process on my own. Luckily, I've learned a few tips that have come in handy for me while taking 12 course hours over the summer. If you're taking summer college courses or are thinking about taking summer courses, then this list is for you.
1. Try to see what supplies you have left from the previous semester.
A pack of loose leaf paper or notebooks may only cost about $1, but it might be one more dollar than you have to spend. Dollars can add up. Check your place for any paper, folders, binders, pens, pencils, blue books etc. that you can still use to prevent over spending. Save your money for next semester.
2. Wait! Don't blow your cash on books.
You may be able to get past spending about $500+ on books that you'll use from August to December or January to May. However, you may not feel too great about spending that much for only 8 weeks of classes. Ask your friends if you can borrow a textbook if they took the same courses during the regular semesters.
3. No friends who took those classes? No worries. Check the library.
When I found out that my boyfriend took Women in World Religions during the spring, we thought that his textbooks would come in handy when I took the same course in the summer. Unfortunately, the course was being taught by a totally different professor in the summer. Different professor can sometimes mean different books. Luckily, most schools will have the books you need for your course in the library. Instead of spending $40 on a book that I only needed about 60 pages from, I checked it out and scanned it for free in the library. The other books I rented for free from the library. I saved hundreds of dollars (feel free to use this method during the regular school year too.)
4. In the strange event that not even the school library has the books...
Google free PDFs, get a cheap ebook version (both kindle and nook have free apps you can view on almost any device,) check a local library or check Barnes and Noble's website (I once rented a book from there for around $20 when it costed about $70 to rent from my school's bookstore.)
5. Bring a water bottle.
It's hot. Like really hot. And water can be very expensive. Most schools have water fountains, so bring a nice big reusable water bottle and fill that baby up. Stay hydrated!
6. Carry as little as possible.
Trekking across campus is hard enough, don't weigh yourself down with unnecessary stuff in the heat.
With that being said...
7. Bring a jacket.
I know I've been complaining about heat for the past few points, but once you get in the building for classes it's winter again.
8. Bring snacks (preferably healthy ones.)
When it's hotter, you're hungrier. You need more energy. Trust me, you will be exhausted and bored in class. Don't be exhausted, bored, AND hungry. Plus, most of your regular food spots on campus are either closed or closing earlier than usual.
9. Try to get ahead on your homework.
If you have classes on only Monday - Thursday and syllabus full of assignments, then take Friday - Sunday to try and get ahead on your work. You'll be thanking yourself later when something comes up in the summer and you don't have to stress about doing that paper because you've already completed it.
10. Stay organized
Create a detailed list of all the things that you need to do and when. Check it off as you go along. It helps to have a visual of what you need to complete so you don't forget to do it.
Speaking of not forgetting…
11. Set alarms/alerts.
Have something set up on your phone to let you know when to start doing your assignments and when you should turn it in. This has helped so much. I'm totally tired and out of the swing of things. This helps me to stay on track and organize my time so I can get my assignments done and turned in on time.
12. Keep your brain active.
If you're feeling burn out from the school year, I'm with you. Do something to keep your brain active. Eat healthy, play games, read, take walks. You need your mind to be at its best if you want to pass your summer courses.
13. Make friends.
Make friends with some of the people in your courses. Even if it's an online course. Connections come in handy if you miss a day, don't understand an assignment, or just need help studying.
14. Cherish your off days.
It's still summer. Take the weekends to act like it. You'll appreciate it when the regular semester starts back up again.