Graduating on time is the primary goal of every college student; they get to start their career earlier and avoid paying unnecessary tuition if they can be in and out of college in four years. Unfortunately, it’s a challenge for most students to be able to finish all their requirements in the allotted amount of time. It’s difficult to get into required courses and navigating a path to graduation can be confusing. Fortunately, there are many things students can do over the summer to ensure a timely graduation so they can move on to the next stage of their life.
- Attend Summer School
Summer school courses don’t fill up as quickly as they do during the school year, so students have a better opportunity to get their first-choice class. Whether a student is taking a prerequisite or an elective course, summer school can help them get a few credits out of the way, so they stay on the path to timely graduation. Most summer school classes are only six or eight weeks long so students can take both sessions and get two classes completed.
- Meet with an Academic Counselor
Students should meet with an academic counselor at least once a year, if not more, but students often get distracted during the year and forget to make these appointments. Summer is a great opportunity to meet with a counselor and make sure that students are on task and taking the right classes. Students often sign up for a course only to find later that it was not required for graduation. This can be frustrating to say the least, and it can keep students from completing college on time. Counselors can look at a student’s schedule and see what courses they have already taken so they can properly advise them on future choices.
- Focus on an Especially Difficult Subject
When students have a particularly challenging class, it will often take up most their study time. During the year, this can distract students from other courses and even lower their overall GPA. Over the summer, however, students can take just one class and focus on difficult topics. They might spend a lot of time working with the professor or TA during office hours, or they might work with a one-on-one tutor to improve their skills in this subject. Once challenging topics are completed, students can focus on courses in their major and enjoy their college experience.
- Become an Intern
Internships are helpful because they give students career experience while providing them with college credit. These credits can count as elective units toward graduation and help students graduate on time while also giving them a foot in the door to their chosen career. Most college level internships are unpaid, so the student is required to ensure their college will provide credit for any particular internship. Students are encouraged to talk with a representative on campus to make sure this can be arranged.
- Stay Organized
Lack of organization is one of the main reasons students forget an important detail of their education that may ultimately delay graduation. During the year, it is stressful and overwhelming to re-organize consistently, so summer provides an excellent opportunity just to sit down and think about where as student’s education will take them in the next year. Is the student taking the right courses for their major? Have they taken all prerequisites necessary to move forward? Have they taken advantage of any extra opportunities on campus? Organization is the key to success in every single major field of study.
Robyn Scott is a private English tutor at TutorNerd. She attended the University of California, Irvine as an undergraduate and the University of Southampton in England as a graduate student. She has worked with students from the United States, Japan, South Korea, the European Union, and Africa.