Some students may choose to continue their studies over the summer, instead of taking the time off. Though the reasons for doing so varies, many students are looking to get ahead in their degree. In addition, I know many students who find that there are unexpected mental health benefits to studying during the summer months.
Here are some of the chief reasons why summer schooling may boost your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Soaking up the sun
The moment the sun comes out, I notice a change in the general health and wellness of everyone I meet. Longer days and an increased amount of sunlight have proven boosts for your health, both physically and emotionally. An increased dose of Vitamin D, one of the beneficial aspects of sunlight, can serve to increase happiness and cognition, which are key aspects in helping you maintain your focus during class.
It’s important to note here that approximately 10 million people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) each year, many of which are students. SAD can manifest in feelings of depression, erratic sleep patterns, and difficulty concentrating – all of which aren’t conducive to productivity. I’ve seen how students suffering from SAD can feel particularly unmotivated during the colder, sunless months, and find that a regular school term can only add to a sensation of anxiety and hopelessness.
When it comes to your academic life, you need to have the tools for success. In addition to seeking counselling and SAP services, students who experience the adverse effects of SAD will often feel more productive and positive with the increased sunshine.
If you find that you suffer from the symptoms of SAD, and that these symptoms get in the way of your productivity, I highly recommend considering summer classes. You may discover phenomenal benefits to your mental health as a result.
Balancing the workload
I’ve met a lot of students who have felt burdened by their course load during the school year. One of the greatest recommendations I can make to take the weight off of your workload during the regular school year is to take summer courses.
Not only will this help to make your course load feel more manageable, it will also help you meet the requirements for graduation faster. An accelerated graduation process is an asset for any hard-working student, especially those working towards a Masters Degree or PhD.
I’ve spoken to students who have found that certain opportunities were presented to them in the summer months that they may not have been able to take part in during the regular academic term. Aside from smaller class sizes, there are sometimes excellent opportunities to study abroad.
Although many universities offer programs year round, some countries overseas will be even more enjoyable during the summer months, especially if you’re looking to take in the sights while you hit the books. A new perspective can always transform your mental health; be sure to take advantage of any overseas opportunity that may be presented to you.
Overall, I’ve found that the summer tends to be more conducive to a superior sense of health and wellbeing. By maintaining your focus and getting through your course load in advance, you may find that studying during the summer is incredibly rewarding.
Taking courses in the summer means less workload in the fall, which results in less pressure and increased self-care! For more information on how you can decrease your stress and elevate your productivity, contact your SAP or EAP provider today.