Maintaining Focus

Maintaining Focus
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By Mohamed Imane Chahdi

While nobody is totally free during the holidays, a gap gets created because of not having any courses in the summer. When academic life is on hold, here are a few ways to stay sharp between semesters.

1. Take courses online. 

There are many websites that offer courses online like Udemy, Skillshare, Masterclass or Lynda.com, the latter being freely available with myCentennial and public library cards. The courses you sign up for don’t have to be related to your field of study: different skillsets come in handy in collaborative situations, whether at work or not, and so accumulating new skills is to anyone’s advantage. And, of course, continuous learning keeps you focused between semesters.

2. Join meetups or other groups. 

Websites like meetup.com allow people who share a particular interest to meet on a regular basis. It could be marketing, board games, photography, technology, books, food or literally anything you can think of. By bringing together people who want to make a commitment and dedicate part of their week or month to a specific topic or cause, this kind of activity can allow you to engage in meaningful group work like that in a study group or a traditional classroom. As students, we spend much of our academic life with peers and colleagues who share our interests, and many of us can miss that feeling of community during the holidays. Thanks to the internet, it’s now easier to find many people who are willing to gather around a certain idea.

3. Find a tutor, or become a tutor.

The Library Learning Centres at Centennial College offer a peer-based tutoring program that connects students who need tutoring in specific subjects with tutors, who are university and Centennial College students. Full-time and part-time students who are currently enrolled at the college can have access to this program, and students who are in high academic standing and have been recommended by their respective departments can become tutors. This program runs year-round and the summer is a great time to use this service to improve your grasp on courses. 

4. Start a new project. 

The summer is also a great time to work on something new, especially if you have a big task you’ve been wanting to get done for a while, but didn’t have the time to during your studies. It could be writing a short story, documenting an event in photographs, building something, etc. It can be enlightening to work on personal projects and explore what you love and what you’re good at. It’s easy during the academic year to get caught up in coursework and to put off personal projects indefinitely. Working on a project can help you maintain the energy and momentum you have during the academic year because it involves planning, execution, and problem-solving while keeping you busy doing something you love.

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