Summer vacation, the joyous break from a year of learning, actually originated much more purposefully. In the summer, children were needed to help with planting and harvesting on the farm. And while you probably buy your food at the local supermarket, you still look forward to glorious release from academic responsibility. Unfortunately, education isn’t something automatically retained. Unless you actively review what you’ve learned, you will likely forget most of it. And summer gives you a very long time to forget.
Have you ever started a new semester only to fall behind almost immediately? This does not mean you’re stupid, only that you’ve had too much time to forget. Many teachers, however, assume you’ve mastered old material and begin building on a rusty or forgotten foundation.
So what can you do to prevent summer learning loss? It’s simple: go back and review your notes from last semester. If you’re feeling extra diligent, start reading your new textbook. It will probably spend a chapter or two reviewing old material to help refresh your memory. Use the book as a guide to brush up on any areas you’re weak in.
With summer vacation winding down and fall classes looming, now is the time to take action and start planning for that A. By devoting just half an hour a day the week before the new semester, you’ll be entering the academic year well prepared and ahead of your classmates.