4 tips to keep up academic momentum over the summer

Student sitting on bench in hallway working on laptop.

Summertime is filled with golden opportunities for students looking to enhance their academic careers. Keep your motivation high and academic habits strong by being thoughtful and purposeful with how you spend your summer break. To maximize your time, focus on the four R’s for summer success: research, resume, reflection and reward.


A break from academics doesn’t have to mean a pause in learning. Summer can be a chance to emphasize research on topics that especially interest you. Explore your field and find articles or podcasts that explain new, exciting concepts that fuel your passion and further your expertise. As you prepare for your courses, take time to read up on research your professors have conducted, and familiarize yourself with their specialties. This understanding of their background can be immensely helpful as you begin to learn from them.


The summer months are an excellent opportunity to revamp your resume. Edit, yes, but also brainstorm new activities that will enhance your resume. Make sure these new additions and accomplishments translate your unique attributes and skills. Look into professional organizations that offer networking opportunities to propel your career forward or volunteer groups that let your philanthropic side shine. Use this summer as a chance to polish your resume and make it shine.


As you get further into your academic career, it’s important to stay focused on your ultimate career or education goals. This summer, keep yourself motivated by reflecting on what inspired you to enroll in your current program, your overall academic goals, and how much you have grown through education. Reflection on your goals and accomplishments will help keep you inspired as you continue your academic journey.


Take a moment to appreciate all of your hard work — including getting into a graduate program — and reward yourself for it! If you emailed your professor or read some interesting articles about your field, reward yourself for being the student that takes charge of education outcomes and makes the most out of learning opportunities.

Summer is a great time to prepare for the next steps of your unique academic journey. Follow these tips, and you’ll be equipped with strategies that maximize your summer and ensure you are continuing to build academic momentum as you enter the next semester.

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