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Monday, June 30, 2014

7 Reasons To Study All Summer Long

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Back when I was in high school you couldn't drag me by my ankles back into a book during summer break. I officially shut down shop in my brain. I wouldn't think about school one time until months later. I still completely understand the pleasures of never thinking about school. The months of summer can be awfully fun but...

College is the time when I learned the errors in my ways. In an attempt to graduate from college early, I consistently took summer classes. That led to me spending virtually the whole year studying for school. It wasn't until then that I started to realize how valuable that actually is. In fact, it's so valuable that even after graduation I kept it up.

1. Habits Make Life Easy

There is an old joke that 99% of the time is a challenge, 100% of the time is easy.

Until you start living it, you don't understand how true that statement is. When you study consistently, it's easy to pick up a textbook. It's just a habit that you've strengthened for years. It feels completely natural. If you're like most students, picking up a textbook is more like trying to saw your arm off with a butter knife (painful and boring.)

Summer break can kills your study habits. If you have a good study habit then summer can completely ruin it for you. Make your life easy and keep studying at least a few minutes everyday.

2. Time For Subjects You Love

During the school year, studying subjects that you want to study can become a challenge. When you enjoy a subject, you tend to learn it faster than other subjects. Given the choice between studying a school subject you're not great at or a subject you love, you probably should pick the school subject you're not great at to help your grades. Summer gives you the chance to flip that upside down.

Life rewards you for the things that you're really good at. Use summer to study and get good with the things that you really love. You can maintain the habit of studying while enjoying the process of it a whole lot more than during the school year.

3. Remember What You Learned

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Summer break causes most students to forget about a third of what they learned during the previous school year. That is not a good thing. All this information is information that you'll need to relearn at the beginning of the next school year. Studying a little bit through summer can help your brain retain the information that it's learned easier.

Holding onto the information you learned from the year before is one of the easiest ways to get ahead for the next school year. While most students will be struggling to remember what they should know, you'll be focusing on the new material.

4. Experimentation

During the school year, it can be tough to practice new and better ways of studying. You can't risk using a new study method on a big test you have coming up without a little hesitation. If it doesn't work then your grades may suffer the consequences. That's why you want to do tons of study experiments during summer break.

Summer break is the perfect time to try studying in a different method than usual. Most of the study tricks you'll try won't do all that much for your grades but every once in a while you'll find something that dramatically increases your recall. That's the kind of thing that can turn B's into A's for a whole school year to come.

5. Getting Ahead In Life

Why do you try to get good grades in school? If you're like most students, somewhere in the answer to this question you'll mention that you want to get ahead in life.

One of the best ways to get ahead in life is to spend the time most people spend watching television learning new stuff. The more you're willing to dedicate your life to real learning (not school learning) the farther you're going to be able to get.

Spending time studying when you don't have to is an option you're going to be given for your whole life. The people that choose to put in that extra work will be getting the benefits of it. Everyone else will just be living the status quo.

6. Less Distractions

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Let's face it. There are going to be at least a few boring days throughout your summer. Sure, most of it is going to be a ton of fun but most of the time you'll have a couple hours everyday that you don't know what to do with. You certainly won't have schoolwork getting in your way.

It's a lot easier to study when you have plenty of time for it. Studying in a packed schedule is painful. Studying in an open schedule can be a little fun. Even if you weren't so good at studying during the previous school year, get in the habit of studying more while you don't have as many challenges.

7. It Can Be Fun

Yes... I know... I used the three letter word that annoying educators have been claiming for decades but I swear... there is some truth to it.

Studying for school sucks. I can't argue with that. I absolutely hated it most of my time in school. It feels like you're wasting your time learning stuff that you'll never use anyway.

Study outside of school is different. That's because you can control absolutely everything you spend your time on. You don't have to worry about failing a test during summer. You get to study for the sake of studying. You can pick when you study it too.

This completely changes the study equation over time. Take note of the words: over time. It takes a little bit of time but soon you'll wonder how you lived without a regular study time during your day. It's a unique pleasure that very few people learn to appreciate.

So... have I convinced you to pick up a subject you love and start studying? Remember, the hardest part with anything is getting started. Once you get going, it will come easier and easier over time.

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