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Staying Summer Sharp
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katie goodrich reporter 


Meet Katie, the summer 2016 ICI Intern: I’m Katie Goodrich, a senior journalism major at an ICI member campus. I believe in grammar, justice and the right to ice cream. I am fluent in English, sarcasm and gibberish. My talents include an incredible memory for '90s song lyrics, power naps and having just enough bad luck to produce great anecdotes.

Staying Summer Sharp  

June 27, 2017

Don't let summer break turn into a summer slide.


Summer vacation is in full swing for most students, and the joys of summer have begun. Friends, music, Netflix, beaches, concerts and lazy days are quickly taking up most of a student’s time, rather than classes, studying, or group projects.

But what happens when, two weeks before school starts, you realize that you remember very little of last year’s lessons?

This is a real problem for many students, but it can be avoided with a little work.

Here are a few tips for keeping your mind active during the summer.


Though reading through old class notes is probably the last thing on your summer bucket list, it could actually be useful. Giving your brain a refresher could really make a difference when you need to recall that information. This could be a good idea particularly with cumulative classes or concepts. Taking Algebra 2 next year? Skim through problems you solved in that Algebra 1 class.

Keep learning.

Another way to stay sharp is to keep learning. Take a summer course on a subject that interests you. Make a point to research the topic that caught your attention in class that your professor didn’t have time to fully delve into. And learning doesn’t have to be textbook-based. The point is to keep your brain engaged and familiar with the learning process. Learn how to knit, take a painting class, work purposefully at getting better at a sport (or other active skill), or take a computer coding class. There are a number of ways that you can do this. Check with your local library to see if they offer classes during the summer. Community centers are usually a good resource as well!

Read, read, read.

Remember those posters always hanging in the library with different celebrities encouraging you to read? Take their advice to heart. Pick up a new book. Reread an old favorite. Find a biography. Explore a different perspective. Read the book of the newest movie that you enjoyed. Grab a park bench, good coffee, and the newest popular novel. Reading is one of the best ways to keep your brain active and sharp.

Stay engaged.

After you binge a Netflix show, take some time to think through the elements of the show. Was there character development? How did people grow through different seasons? Can you find any plot holes? Was there a theme? Was the show trying to promote a specific message? Taking some time to thoughtfully consider various media could help to grow analyzing skills that come in handy during the school year. Really observe the movies you watch, the music you listen to, including things like magazines, commercials, advertising and the radio.

college students study on the lawn

Have good conversations.

Take everything I just told you to observe and talk about them! Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers about various topics. Bring up the latest news story you heard about. Politics is usually a topic that will get anyone talking (though enter conversation at your own risk). Hearing other people’s ideas is beneficial in many ways. Learn from others, adjust your own thinking, or simply take ideas in as something to consider. Collaboration is an important part of the education process, so making an effort during the summer to interact with others will help you feel comfortable doing the same during the school year.


A new semester will be upon you quicker than you realize, and using these tips will help beat the grogginess of finding your routine again the first week of school. 

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