It is finally that time of year: the sun is shining, birds are chirping, kids are out from school and you…are stuck inside studying. Summer can be a natural time for many people to study for their licensure, especially those working as school psychologists or teaching in universities. It can also be a time for weddings, vacations, family reunions and a lot of distractors as well. So here are a few tips to combat those summer study blues:
1. Stick to a Schedule
With shifting school and work schedules, it is easy to fall out of your normal routine. However, I cannot overstate the importance of a regular study schedule. Take a look at your calendar and determine what time of day is best for you to study. Then build in at least two or three 50 minutes blocks each day to study. During these blocks, all technology is put away and a timer is set. When the timer sounds, you are free to break. Some people do these study blocks in the morning: they grab coffee, a soft blanket and get it out of the way early. Other people break them up, doing one in the morning, one during lunch and one before bed. Whichever way you choose to study, make it routine. You should already know when you will be studying the next day and have it planned.
2. Plan ahead for major events
Budget in allowances for vacations, holidays and hosting family. Despite the best intentions, it is almost impossible to study when out of a routine. Everything else will take precedence and that is normal. So if you know you have an upcoming event, front load that studying and complete some extra hours in the week beforehand. This way you can take some time off guilt free, refresh and be more mentally present for the event itself.
3. Try to make studying as enjoyable as possible
One of the major advantages to studying in the summer is the longer days. No longer are you reading under a fluorescent lightbulb after 4:45pm. So grab a lemonade, curl up on your patio and soak in the sunshine. Studying can sometimes call for a change in scenery and there is no trophy for suffering more than you need to. Go enjoy the weather and try to set yourself up for a study block that feels refreshing for you. By getting comfortable before you study, you can focus longer and are less prone to avoidance.
4. Consider setting a test date.
If you are studying over the summer, you likely have a goal of finishing around the Fall or Winter season. Setting an test date can be like creating a light at the end of a very long tunnel. It also serves as a motivator and can help keep your temporary sacrifices in perspective. You may consider booking a date based on your projected study time and test scores. An AATBS Coach can help you with this process as well. If you end up needing more time, you can always move your date without penalty as long as you are more than 31 days out from your scheduled time slot. In addition, booking in advance helps ensure that you get a more optimal selection of testing dates and times.
Overall, congratulations on making it to the final leg of your journey. Have a fabulous summer, study hard and cheers!
Dr. Nikki Johnson is a licensed Psychological and a remote coach outside of Seattle, WA. She holds a PsyD in Clinical Psychology with a Forensic emphasis from Azusa Pacific University, an APA accredited school in Southern California.