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Maintaining your cool over summer

Three students use their arms and bodies to form the letters "OSU."

By Bethany Ulman, Ecampus success counselor
June 17, 2016

Summer is the time for hot weather and fun in the sun. It can also be a stressful time for students balancing work and school, plus wanting to spend time with friends and family who might have more free time over the summer. Below are a few tips for keeping your cool while maintaining your work-life balance over the summer.

  1. Plan time to spend with kids, family and friends – Summer is the time when kids are out of school and families are able to take vacations. Make it a priority to spend time with friends and family, just make sure you plan ahead! Planning out vacation time and weekend trips before starting the summer term will help you manage your time. “When planning your vacation, check the internet connection at your destination,” Ecampus Success Counselor Amy Riley recommends. “Also, it’s a good idea to bring hard copies of syllabi, assignment instructions and online readings, just in case.” Planning ahead will reduce stress and allow you to enjoy your vacation.
  1. Set limits – While you are arranging a vacation, take an extra step and plan out your study, work and family time. Set limits on each so that you can be fully present in the moment. Having a weekly schedule can help you make sure you are dedicating the necessary time to studying, but also to your family and friends.
  1. Learn to kindly say “no” – Summer barbecues, parties and outdoor activities may compete with your study schedule. In order to maintain your balance, it is perfectly acceptable to politely say “no.” Others will be impressed by your ability to be honest and intentional about your time. Prioritize activities that are meaningful and rejuvenating for you. By respectively saying “no,” you are allowing yourself to enjoy and focus on what truly matters.
  1. Build your support system – Summer is a great time to reconnect with old friends or make new connections. It is also a perfect time to build up your support system to help you keep your momentum going into fall term. Reach out to a fellow student, start a class Facebook group or set up an appointment to meet with an instructor you would like to get to know better or who might be helpful throughout your program. As a distance student, creating strong connections can enhance your overall experience and enable you to get the most out of your learning. It will also make finishing your degree that much easier.
  1. Summer goes by quickly; now is the time to gear up for fall – Whether you are taking courses or not, summer will fly by. Now is the time to start preparing for fall term. Kyle Whitehouse, the Ecampus assistant director of learner services, recommends these steps to help you achieve a powerful start:
  • If you need to do so, make an additional appointment with your advisor to map out a plan for the upcoming year.
  • Secure your class schedule early, and add your name to wait lists, if necessary.
  • Be sure to check your email regularly for any changes or notices related to fall term.
  • Purchase required texts and materials as soon as possible so there is no delay in being prepared.
  • Set a calendar reminder to prompt you to familiarize yourself with your fall course sites on Canvas, and review your syllabi as early as the week before the new term.

Summer is a great time to refresh. Look back on all that you have accomplished over the past year – in your career, in school and in your personal life. Give yourself a pat on the back. Use those strategies that helped you this past year and figure out where you can improve in the future.

If you’d like more strategies or help with planning for the summer or fall, let us know. The Ecampus success team is here to help! You can set up an appointment, check out our blog or browse our Pinterest page for more tips. You can also connect with other Ecampus students on the new Student Group LinkedIn page.

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