Summer vacation, as most of us know it, or extended breaks from education, can cause students to regress academically. Whether you’re a student who follows a traditional academic calendar, or one who prefers to work more consistently throughout the year, there are things you can do on academic breaks to keep your skills sharp and ready for future studies.
Reading engages your mind in more ways than you may think. Not only does your vocabulary and reading comprehension skills expand – studies have shown that reading actually changes your brain activity and strengthens neurological connections. If it isn’t a current pastime for you already, consider regularly reading something that interests you to make it more enjoyable and habitual. Magazines, novels, comics, or even cookbooks are all fair game!
Continue to practice skills
While it’s probably the last thing you want to do while on a break from school, try practicing your skills during some free time. Whether that means solving some math problems, performing a science experiment, or reviewing old flashcards, practicing helps you retain information and will leave you better prepared for your future academic plans.
Get involved in community programs
Every community is different with many offering a variety of free or paid camps and programs for youth over the summer. Do some research to see what opportunities are available to you – chances are you may even make some friends along the way!
Pick up a new hobby
Starting a new hobby is a great way to explore your interests while stimulating your brain. Hobbies allow you to discover new things and think creatively while simultaneously helping you de-stress and learn time management. On breaks from school is the perfect time to begin a new hobby – so go do that thing you’ve always wanted to try!
Volunteering is another great experience that allows you to stay engaged mentally (and often physically) while also giving back. Nonprofits are constantly looking for volunteers, and helping an important cause is a great way to sharpen social and analytical skills. Not only this, but volunteering can boost your understanding of issues around you and has the potential to improve your college applications.
Traveling is known for its ability to foster cultural appreciation, self-awareness, and independence. Whether you decide to travel across the globe or take a weekend to explore an unfamiliar area nearby, traveling is a great way to fight academic regression. Try taking a trip with your family to a nearby museum, or take the opportunity to tour college campuses you may be considering. No matter where you go, you’ll be exercising your brain and ready to return to your studies refreshed and prepared.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, all these options are great opportunities to retain academic sharpness during breaks from school. No matter what you choose to do, know you’ll be doing your brain – and your body – a favor. UNHS is proud to offer courses 24/7/365, and this summer is the perfect opportunity to enroll in a course that interests you! Explore our course catalog of over 100 courses and find the one that’s right for you.