Time flies so fast… Photo courtesy of Flickr user redstamp.com and licensed under CC 2.0It is now officially August, which means that we have to shift our brains from thinking, “Summer is barely halfway over, I’ve got tons of time left before school starts,” to “Oh, damn, it’s August and my classes start in like three weeks.” Realizing that your summer is almost over isn’t the most fun thing to come to terms with, especially if you’re having hard time switching from summer mode back to school mode. There are a few things you can do in the dwindling weeks of summer to help make that transition from summer to fall a little easier.


Start Getting Up Earlier

For those of you who have been going to work everyday, this may not be such a big deal. But for those who have been lounging about all summer without any real preset time to get up for the day, this is definitely a good idea for you. It’s a rude awakening when you have to start getting up for your early morning classes when you’ve been sleeping in until noon everyday. Help yourself out by easing into waking up early while you have the chance. Every few days, wake up an hour earlier until you’re able to wake up at the time you’ll have to when you’re back at school. Obviously, you’re going to need to adjust what time you go to bed accordingly. Hopefully doing this will get your body used to your class schedule faster and make you less cranky and grouchy.


Read a Book

Hopefully, you guys are already reading books during the summer, but if you’re not, go ahead and pick one up. It really doesn’t matter what kind of book it is either. As long as you’re keeping your brain active by reading something, you’re in good shape. Ideally, you should probably look for a book that has some educational substance in it somewhere. I’m not suggesting you read a textbook by any means. For example, my second major is classical studies. This summer I’ve been reading Greek mythology books and The Lost Books of the Odyssey. Both are fun reads, but they have some connecting to something I’ll be studying next year. If you’re a history major, read a historical fiction book about a time period you’re interested in. Better yet, read a biography. If you’re a communication major, try reading a book by a great communication theorist. If you’re at a loss of what to read, just go to your local bookstore or library and browse for awhile until something, whether educational or not, catches your eye.


Go Someplace Educational

My best friend and I have spent the last few weeks of our summer visiting various museums and attractions around Dallas. So far we’ve been to the Museum of Nature and Science, the Dallas Zoo, and the Dallas Arboretum. Next week, we’ll be visiting the Nasher Sculpture Center. I’m neither a science nor an art major, but going someplace like a museum can help get your critical thinking muscles working in your brain. Read the plaques on the beside works of art and learn a little history or beside the animal enclosures at the zoo. You get to get out of the office or your home for a day, plus you learn something new every place you go. For instance, at the science museum, I learned 20 pounds of an adult female is attributed solely to skin. Who knew?


Work Some Puzzles

When I was in elementary school, my dad used to give me and my brother math worksheets for us to do in the summer. Once a day, we’d work through a set of about thirty simple math problems. His theory was that doing math every day during the summer would prevent us from losing our skills during our break from school. If math problems during the summer sounds fun to you, just knock yourself right out and find a math workbook at your local bookstore. However, I’ve found that keeping your brain active by doing small puzzles every day can actually help when you transition from summer mode to school mode. I’m a fan of word searches, but I also like playing Solitaire and Sudoku. Maybe you like crossword puzzles. Maybe you like riddles. Whatever it is, I’d suggest picking up a book of puzzles from Amazon with your free shipping to keep your mind occupied whenever you find yourself without anything to do during your last few weeks of summer.


Do you have any other tips on getting your brain back into school mode? Let us know in the comments!