How to be Successful in a Summer Course

Summer courses can be extremely beneficial to your academic plan.  Taking courses during a non-traditional semester, such as summer, can help you knock out classes you need for graduation. Other perks of taking courses during the summer are that class sizes can be smaller and sessions are shorter.

But, as the days lengthen and the sun lures you outside, it can be difficult to stay focused on studying.  And, after being outside and finding fun in the sun, you could feel sluggish when it is time to study.  To help you stay focused and be successful in your academic endeavors, try these simple tricks:

  • Be Awake: Eat breakfast each day.  Keep your meals throughout the day light (include lots of fruits and veggies). Avoid heavy meals; they will make you feel drowsy.
  • Take Good Notes: Because summer sessions are often taught in a shorter session, their pace is often more vigorous then a traditional course.  Take lots of notes and review them often to help you remember the material.  Creating your notes in outline format or using colored pens or markers on your notes can help you remember how topics are related and help you remember the facts.
  • Sleep Well: During the summer, the days are longer. More daylight could cause you to not sleep as soundly as usual. To deter this, buy darkening blinds or curtains to help block out light.
  • Stay Positive: You are your biggest critic.  If you have an “I can do it” attitude, you are more likely to succeed.
  • Attendance: Go to class or sign into your online class every day.  Being present and up to date on any changes or announcements in the class is key to your success.

As you take steps to follow through on these recommendations, consider exploring the following ELife Blogs for further tips on healthy eating, note taking and attendance. And, be sure to reach out to your NOVA Online Success Coach with your questions or concerns. The Success Coaching Team can be reached at or (703) 764-5076.

-Kristin, NOVA Online Student Success Coach