Beating the Summer School Blues

Picture of a house and white picket fence in the summer
Steinbach, Manitoba from my road trip across Canada.
Summer. What a gloriously wonderful season! A season full of sunshine, street festivals, and memorable travel adventures. For students it is the season of rejuvenation after diligently working through two semesters of intense learning, a much deserved break. But there are a handful of brave souls, myself included, who venture into the summer season with no break in mind. Instead, these souls forge forward with dreams of triumph, fearlessly taking on the dreaded summer course (or courses)! These brave souls are known as the summer students. Ah yes, the summer students! I imagine that some of you who are reading this could very well relate to the trials and tribulations that come with registering for classes in the summer time. If you are anything like me, you probably spoke at length to friends of yours who have taken summer courses. They probably warned you about how fast the course goes by, and about the fact that summer courses are in fact courses and it being summer makes it difficult to focus. Yet even with these warnings, you probably thought that your willpower, motivation or ambition to do well would trump any and all distractions. But as summer school takes its course, summer school FOMO suddenly hits you! As least this is my experience. It’s now June, a month into my summer course, and I’ve become minutely aware that the distractions of the summer are beginning to take its toll on me. With summer life ramping up and the number of “park hang-out” snapchats, or “let’s patio because it’s hot outside” text messages, or “I’m throwing a barbecue because SUMMER” Facebook invites intensely grows, all I want to do is take part in all of it. But then I remember, I have exams coming up. With such a conundrum on my hands, I decided to see if it was possible to rid myself of this summer FOMO by trying out different locations to study. I figure, why not bring my studying to places where I desperately wanted to be hanging out at? That being said, I found myself studying in three very different locations and I’ve decided to share my findings with you.


picture of me with my lap top studying at robarts
Me studying at Robarts on a beautiful summer afternoon.
Quietness: 10/10 Everyone is quiet. So quiet that I feel bad for the clicking sounds I make as I type away on my laptop. Environment: 7/10 Wooden chairs, rows of tables and funky lamps definitely enhances my urge to be studious. The silence kind of creeps me out though. Why did I forget my headphones? FOMO Experience: 8/10 I am definitely aware of how much I am missing out with regards to summer fun. However, other people around me studying definitely makes me feel less bad. What can I say, misery loves company. Amenities: 8/10 Wifi, check. Starbucks, check. Food Court, check. Printers, check. Plenty of lavatories, check. Distraction Potential: 6/10 The eerie quietness, the lower volume of students, and Wifi accessibility combined equals prime procrastination opportunity. Also, large windows provide prime people watching opportunities. Why am I so easily distracted? Study-ability: 9/10 I finished what I set out to do for the day so yes. A great place to study!


Picture of me on studying on a patio
Me attempting to study on a patio.
Quietness: 1/10 There are definitely no noise rules when it comes to sitting on a patio. In fact, loud seems to be encouraged. Environment: 4/10 So I made it out on a patio but in terms of feeling studious, it definitely does the opposite. The tables and chairs are more conducive to a social conversation than a study space. FOMO Experience: 0/10 I am on a patio, it is summer. I feel no FOMO. Amenities: 6/10 Food and drink a plenty. Also, bathrooms in close proximity and free Wifi! Distraction Potential: 10/10 This is definitely a place where work does not get completed. Study-ability: 3/10 Maybe it’s because I’m too easily distracted, but I definitely am not at my peak performance. I did not complete what I set out to do.


Picture of me studying in a park.
Me doing problem sets in a park!
Quietness: 5/10 For a busy place, the noise level isn’t as high as one would expect. Environment: 4/10 No tables or chairs, but there are trees! FOMO Experience: 0/10 No FOMO necessary, I am hanging out with my people at the same time I am studying. Amenities: 5/10 The bathrooms have soap and warm water! I say this now, because the last time I was in these bathrooms, there was no hot water nor soap. Also, no wifi, but it’s okay, LTE will suffice. Distraction Potential: 6/10 There are far too many things to do in a park, schoolwork may sometimes not be the highest priority. Study-ability: 6/10 It’s no library, but with willpower I got what I set out to study done!

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