Advice from the Other Side: Applying Summer Lessons

September 22, 2017

Sarah Farkas 1By Sarah Farkas
Assistant Director of Mentoring & Outreach, Educational Resource Center

Happy Friday, Terriers! Hopefully you’re adjusting well to the new semester and applying some of the advice that I gave you about your first couple of weeks. I’m going to ask you to take a trip down memory lane today, all the way back to this summer (yay!). What nuggets of wisdom did you learn this summer, and how can you apply them to both your academic success and your future career? You may not see summer as a time of learning, but I guarantee that no matter your Summer 2017 experience, you can find something valuable as you move forward.


Starting at a very basic level, I’m going to guess that the majority of you got more sleep in the summer than you did when you were cramming during the academic year. That’s one lesson that you should definitely think of applying to your life at BU sooner rather than later. When you get consistent sleep (ideally, you want 7-8 hours a night), not only is it easier to focus and retain information, but you’re also less susceptible to stress and anxiety. The self-care that you gave yourself this summer doesn’t have to end now that you’re back at school!


Did you take a summer class or have an internship (or job)? What was it like to focus on just one class at a time? Although summer classes are much more intense than classes taken over a sixteen week semester, they can afford you the opportunity to focus on only one subject, which can make prioritization a lot easier. Because they’re so intense, they also often require you to develop more efficient time management strategies. Think about the prioritization and time management strategies that you learned in your summer course, and apply them to this semester. Yes, you might have to focus on four classes now instead of one, but you’re also in a better position to know where to put the most energy. The same is true for those of you that had a summer internship or job. How did you balance work and relaxation? You can apply the same strategies that you developed over the summer to cultivate balance in your academic life.

Have Fun

Lastly, think back to how much fun you had this summer. Although you need to focus on your school work and other pressing obligations now, don’t forget that you need to allow yourself time to have fun. Maybe you found a great new hobby this summer (I personally found kayaking and I am not planning on giving it up just because it’s September)—find ways to incorporate fun into your schedule so that you’ll be refreshed and productive when it’s time to work. Summer may be over, but time for yourself is always essential!