Hey! I am a senior based in Bradenton, Florida. I have a passion for animals, and I want to pursue a career in animal medicine. When I’m not buried under a pile of school work, I enjoy running, reading, creating for Fiveable, working, and especially volunteering. To quote Einstein, "Only a life lived for others is worth living."

From training to traveling, most of us have had our summers planned since the end of spring break. It’s easy to become accustomed to waking up late and doing everything under the sun (besides work). On the last day of school, summer assignments were handed out. I thought that my dreams of summer vacation were shattered, and I would never have time to relax. No matter how hard we try, we can’t escape school. Still, we can try our best to tackle our assignments so they don’t have the opportunity to ruin our summers.

1. Play your cards (or time) right. ⏰

Start as early as possible. You don’t need to start your summer assignment on the last day of school. Instead, you need to recognize when you will have free time to use it to the best of your abilities. Currently, I am studying for the July 13th ACT, so I will dedicate my time between then and now towards studying for that test. Afterward, I will have time to dedicate to my summer assignment. But most importantly, I will also have time between the day I submit my assignment, to the day I start my senior year.

Your summertime is precious, so use it wisely.

2. Keep your friends close, and your enemies (aka your summer assignment) even closer ?

I despise summer assignments, but we all have to do them if we want to start the school year off strong. As I was cleaning out my backpack from last year, I found my summer assignment crushed up at the bottom. Once I read it for the first time, I understood the harsh reality and the looming doom. Summer is a time of relaxation, but it’s also a time your future teacher(s) decided to assign your first assignment. You might not enjoy doing it, but keep it close and spend your time with it.

No matter what, try your best. Most of the time, if your teacher sees an effort, you will get a good grade.

3. All work but no play makes you a dull kid ☹️

After all, we’re kids who want to have fun while on break, but it can be challenging with August quickly approaching. If you space out your assignment and take time to do it properly, you won’t be overloaded. Being forced to complete an assignment in a night is completely avoidable. However, it’s inevitable that at some point in your academic career you will find that time is not on your side. As a result of poor planning, I found myself struggling to complete a book report for AP Lang in five days last year. In order to keep myself motivated, I switched up my study location. Keep in mind that you’re on summer break, so you have the ability to study and relax at the same time. Also, a change in scenery can change your mindset without sacrificing your work ethic.

Let’s be real: I’ve tried the Pomodoro method, and while it worked for the first 30 minutes that I was productive, I never came back to work after my 5-minute break. I personally find that I am the most productive when I sit down and work on something for an hour or two. After that, I can take a break that doesn’t make me feel like I have a carrot, that I’ll never reach, dangling in front of my face.

Your should not be overloaded by work, nor by play, when you have a looming deadline. Instead, find a combination of the two that works for you.

4. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat ?

If a teacher assigned you an assignment, don’t be afraid to interrupt their summer. After all, they interrupted yours. Regardless of how silly you think your question about the assignment is, ask someone. Teachers are generally the most resourceful, but former students can also be helpful. If your grade is ever on the line, it’s better to be vulnerable than to get a bad grade. Nothing is worse than getting a bad grade and wondering, “What if I did this instead?” Don’t regret your silence later, speak up while you can.

5. Every cloud (or obstacle) has a silver lining ?

It may seem like the assignment will take years to complete, but it’s worth it in the end to receive the grade you hoped for. By completing the assignment, you will get an overview of your teacher’s expectations. When it comes to high-level courses, summer assignments are incredibly useful. Instead of walking into class with no knowledge on the first day, you’re aware of the basics of the course.

In summation, don’t succumb to procrastination. After all, your worst enemy is yourself. Motivation can drive success as long as you put in the hard work. If we can survive 180 grueling days of school, we can survive a summer assignment or two. Together, let’s tackle those summer assignments to prepare for the next 180 days.