Keeping a steady pace is key for
success in summer classes
It’s 1:30 a.m: You’re at your desk — a huge energy drink can precariously perched on the shortest stack of books and articles — with 456 words or 19 more algebra problems to go. Our advice? Go to bed, whether that’s a mattress, bunk or futon, and sleep. At this point your biological clock, the one that says you think better at night, is lying to you.
The idea that “you work better under pressure” is a commonly held misconception. It really means that when you’re under a deadline, you work because you no longer have an option to do otherwise. You’re unlikely to do better work; you’re tired, stressed and have no room for error.
Working too close to deadlines also means not having a chance to problem solve if something goes wrong or if you have trouble with a concept. Even if you do think best in the wee hours during the regular semester, summer school classes are held every day — days when you used to be sleeping after pulling an all-nighter.
Time in summer school is unrelenting. Falling behind on your sleep, your studies or your communications with professors is even more destructive than during fall or spring semesters. Because of the pace of summer semesters, you have no time to catch up on missed work — or missed sleep.
Dredge up self-discipline to take care of your body, to make yourself read or study earlier in the day, to prepare for exams, and to e-mail or talk with your professors about final tests and papers, including the invisible professors in your online courses. Check TRACS or Bobcat Mail regularly, each day, and several times some days.