Depending on the academic plan you a required to follow for your degree, you may or may not have a lot of freedom in the courses you are allowed to take. For example, in my life science program I only have one elective per year where I’m not restricted in the type of course I choose to take. This doesn’t allow for much exploration into different fields. Instead of wasting your time playing video games this summer, learn something new.  The subject could be anything, a new programming language, a new sport, economics. In the end, the details are up to you, but come September you can be proud to say you learned something this summer.

If you don’t mind paying you can enroll in a course through a local community college or online course at your school. The advantage of taking a summer course through an academic institution is you will receive credit towards your degree and you can gauge you’re understanding of the subject by your exam mark.  Personally, I find this option extremely uninviting. Summer time should be fun. Bailing on a beach party because you have a paper to write for the course you’re taking online sucks.

You read HackCollege; you’re resourceful, right? Why not pick up a textbook or a self-help book and teach yourself for free. If you get stuck on a concept have a look online, there’s all kinds of ways to get help for free (i.e., Khan Academy). One thing I’ve found is it helps to establish a loose schedule, for example one chapter per week. That way you’ll stay on track and have a good sense if you need to pick up the pace. If you don’t feel like learning that day, put the book down and party.  If self-learning seems like a daunting task, realize that every time you skip class you are using this technique.

Just have fun. When you don’t like what you’re learning you procrastinate. It’s simple.  Pick something you’d love to learn. Find how you can learn it and go out and do it.

Post your plans to learn this summer in the comments below.