5 Tips to Survive Summer School

5 Tips to Survive Summer School

And ace them, too.

So you’ve made the horrible decision of actually being productive this summer. We all sign up for summer semesters with big dreams in our eyes. “I’m getting a 4.0 this summer,” “It’s only one class, how hard could it be?” or my personal favorite, “I’m not skipping a single class this time,” then BOOM, the first day of class rolls around and you realize the gravity of the summer-ruining decision you’ve made. As the summer rolls on and you watch your friends go out every night while you stay home cramming for your classes, it’s easy to start letting those grades slip or deciding it’s okay to sleep through a few of your classes. This is where I come in. I’ve been taking summer classes since summers were invented. Not only can you take these classes, you can ace them!

1. Sit Near the Front

Notice I didn’t say, “sit in the front row,” because come on, that’s intense. (Unless you’re one of the kids who always heads straight for the front row, in which case more power to you!) But if you’re a repeat offender of the “stumbles in five minutes late and sits in the back row routine” like I am, this one’s for you. I know it’s awkward up near the front for us back-row folk. On your first day in front-row life, you may experience questions such as “Why can’t I stop making eye contact with my professor,” “How many times can I pull out my phone before the professor tries to punch me,” or “How am I supposed to take my nap with all this learning happening around me?” These are valid and important questions, but think of it this way: if you sit in the front, you’re less likely to come in late because you know all eyes are on you. Also, sitting near the front means the professor will actually know you exist, and when it comes time to give grades, professors are much more likely to help you instead of the kid sleeping in the back of the lecture.

2. Don’t Skip Class

Do I really even have to say it? Okay, fine, I will, because the most obvious tip is the hardest to follow. Go to every class. I know, deep down inside we all know we’re supposed to follow this rule, but during summer classes it’s more important than any other time. It’s not like I’m telling you to do something crazy like never skip a SINGLE class during your fall or spring semester; but if you want an A in your summer classes, you have to show up every day.

3. Make friends in the class.

The best way to succeed in any college class is to make friends with the kids around you. All you have to do is start a conversation with whoever is sitting next to you on the first day of class, then ask if they want to exchange numbers in case either one of you need help with the material. Using a special balance of super casual small talk and slightly forceful phone-number requesting you’re already on your way to an A. This way you have someone you can text to find out if the homework really is due tomorrow or you can spend another night binge watching Netflix. Plus, it doesn’t hurt, unless you choose to sit next to a total weirdo. You might actually become friends with that person, making your summer torture session slightly more enjoyable.

4. Talk to Your Professor.

We’ve all heard this one before – it’s old, but gold. I can imagine you rolling your eyes at me as I type this now, but bear with me. Like I mentioned before, one of the key elements to acing summer classes is showing the professor you EXIST. If you start to feel lost about something he’s going over in class, don’t just tell yourself you’ll go home and figure it out later; go to those office hours. I know it seems awkward, and you’d much rather go about your life unnoticed by the professor, but if you’re having trouble in the class, this is the smart thing to do. Until you make yourself a familiar face, you’re nothing but a name on an attendance sheet. Humanize yourself, and when it comes time to give grades, maybe he’ll imagine your puppy-dog eyes standing in his office and bump that B to an A.

5. Put Your Phone Away

Let me set a scene for you. Imagine yourself sitting in class, taking notes, answering questions, soaking up knowledge, until you spy your phone light up from the corner of your eye. Next thing you know, you look up from your phone and realize you have no idea what the professor's talking about and you've been Facebook stalking some girl you're never going to meet’s family vacation in Cancun album for the past 25 minutes. Even if you only picked up your phone to respond to your friend's text about going out tonight, your brain is now flooded with thoughts like, "Where are we going tonight?” "What should I wear?" "Is it too late to cancel and just stay home watching Netflix?" and it's impossible to really learn everything the professor is teaching you. Do yourself a huge favor and put your phone away during class. If you don't even think you can make a commitment like that, just try it for one class, and see how much easier it is to focus.

Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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Elisabeth Carell, Choose UMich Because You KNOW We’re The Best Big 10

We are a community that sticks with you forever, an amazing network that’ll take you above and beyond.

After stopping at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the bathroom and some food, the Carell’s arrived at the University of Michigan for a real tour of an *actual* school.

Multiple students spotted Elisabeth’s parents, Steve and Nancy Carell throughout the day. They were kind enough to stop and take pictures with them, and when one student called out “Michael!” Steve turned around and laughed with the 20-year-old. As amazing as it was to have these two on our campus, that isn’t the point of this article.

Dear Elisabeth Carell,

We hope you enjoyed visiting the one and only University of Michigan. This school is one of a kind; wear a Michigan hat or shirt around any town in the United States and you are bound to get “Go Blue!” yelled to you throughout the day. We are a community that sticks with you forever, an amazing network that’ll take you above and beyond.

1. Game days are no competition

From being woken up at 7 a.m. to getting ready, to the euphoric tailgates to WINNING, nothing beats a Michigan game day. Nothing. Being in the Big House thousands decked out in Maize and Blue is incomparable, you will never feel more a part of something than you do when you are all cheering for our football team in that stadium. And trust me, you want to go to a school where they actually win their games.

Anyone that goes to the school can go on and on about all the traditions we have at this school.

2. At some point during your time here, you will most definitely paint the rock

What’s on the rock changes each day, sometimes even multiple times a day.

3. We have a giant Spinning cube

The Cube” as most people call it, brings good luck. Students and alumni are known to spin it when they walk by.

4. The traditions start as soon as you become a wolverine

During orientation we walk through the fountain towards the diag, symbolizing the beginning of us as a Wolverine. Then on graduation day, the students walk through the fountain again towards the graduate school, symbolizing their bright futures.

5. Kissing under the West Engineering Arch

It is known that if you kiss someone at midnight under the Arch before you’re 21, then this is the one you will marry.


I swear this is real, in the middle of the diag lays a brass M, if you step on it you will fail your first blue book exam. The only way to reverse this is to run to the Natural History Museum from the M, kiss the two stone pumas and run back between the first and last stroke of midnight –naked.

7. Our campus is beautiful

You can always count on something going on in the diag and people laying in hammocks or walking on tightropes tied between trees. The Arb, the buildings, the views, it’s all exactly what you could want for a college campus.

8. State Street

There are tons of “state streets” across the country, but nothing quite compares to this one. There is art and culture everywhere you look, amazing clothing stores and of course this gorgeous street brings me to…food.

9. Food

From Frita Batidos to Fred’s to Zingerman’s, the list goes on and on.


11. The education

Our clubs and activities are endless. There is a place for everyone and so much opportunity. The faculty care, they want to see you succeed. I have heard many stories where faculty have introduced a job or an internship to a student that skyrocketed their career. With all the classes and majors you could want, Michigan specializes in anything and anyone with passion. That’s what makes us so great.

This is where the best memories and friendships happen, I promise. College can be hard, but lucky as a student at one of the best universities I’ve fallen in love with this place faster than I’d ever think. You go in and faster than you would imagine you are able to find connection unlike any other. This is where it's at.

Come here to have the best college experience you could ever ask for.


The entire UofM student body

Cover Image Credit: Sarah Richman

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When You Work A Job In College, You Earn Things Mom And Dad's Money Can't Buy

The appreciation I have gained is something that cannot be bought, it was earned by hard work and dedication.

As my first year of college approached, I pleaded with my parents not to make me work during my first semester. I selfishly just wanted to have as much free time as possible to hang out with my friends, go out to frat parties, and sleep the whole next day. The last thing I wanted was to have a job to worry about, I just wanted to live off of my parents' dime.

I also thought it would have been nice to have school and extracurriculars as my only responsibility, but my parents refused to let me not have a job. They were both extremely hard workers for all of their life and saw no reason I could not handle both work and school.

So, against my wishes, I went out and got myself a hostessing job at a local restaurant. I had no idea the lessons and skills I would gain from this job that I dreaded on applying for initially.

1. Time Management

One of the things I value most about simultaneously being a student and having a job is learning how to manage my time. Prior to being a working student, I was extremely lazy when it came to doing assignments and projects, I would put them off until the very last possible moment. Once I started working, I had no time to waste, I was forced to get my life together and prioritize my responsibilities. So instead of spending my free time laying around and watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians, I was finishing my assignments before I had to go to work because I knew I had no other choice. I learned how to balance my responsibilities while still making time for myself.

2. Maturity

I learned that you cannot rely on your parents financially forever and that it is crucial to learn how to support yourself. I know my parents wanted to teach me that the real world is hard and they wanted to prepare me for it as best as they could. They did not want to shelter and enable me because they realized that it would only hinder me in the long run. My job itself taught me how to take responsibility for my actions, be on time, and to be professional. This all around gave me a more mature outlook on life and strengthened me as a person in several areas.

3. Perseverance

Being a working student is not easy and often makes it really hard to keep going when you are tired, sick, or just feeling worn out. Balancing both work and school can be extremely overwhelming and just make you want to give up at times, but you learn how to persevere because you care about your future. I had coworkers, teachers, and friends/family supporting me through every obstacle that was placed in my path and helped me get closer to achieving my goals. I knew the consequences of missing work, skipping class, and being lazy so I chose to persevere even when times were tough.

4. The Value of Money

When your parents support you financially, you never realize how much things cost. You probably never thought twice about swiping your parents' credit card for a $5 coffee or a $20 meal, but once it's your own money you start to think twice about splurging on unnecessary items. I began to realize how much things like groceries and gas cost and started to manage my money accordingly.

I also learned that money just doesn’t grow on trees and that there is a lot of hard work required in earning money. I would never have realized the true value of a dollar if my parents didn't make me get a job in college.

5. Appreciation

By having a job in college, I gained such an appreciation for things that I would have previously taken for granted. I have learned what it means to work for things and truly deserve everything that I have worked for. The appreciation I have gained is something that cannot be bought, it was earned by hard work and dedication.

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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