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How to study when the summer is calling

As a student in Germany, the allure of summer can be quite distracting. In this article, I share my personal journey and tips on balancing hitting the books and soaking up the sun.

Sitting outside at a table in a café, Roberta reads the menu and smiles happily to herself.
Sitting outside at a table in a café, Roberta reads the menu and smiles happily to herself.© Roberta

Rising to the challenge

When I first arrived in Germany, I was fascinated by the vibrant summer: the lively festivals, lush green parks and inviting outdoor restaurants. But with exams looming, I quickly realised that I needed a game plan to balance my studies with the irresistible call of the outdoors. After our long winter, nothing can be compared to enjoying the sun and just staying outside. Nevertheless, we still have exams and classes to deal with.

I found that studying during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening, was the most effective. Surely, it isn’t easy to change your study schedule, but it allows you to do so much more than staying in your room all day. Not only did this help me to avoid the heat, but it also freed up my day for some much-needed outdoor fun.

The view goes into the distance, you can see the city of Cologne in the background. In the foreground you can see many parked trains and rails. The sun is just setting and the sky is cloudless and glowing in red and orange.
The view goes into the distance, you can see the city of Cologne in the background. In the foreground you can see many parked trains and rails. The sun is just setting and the sky is cloudless and glowing in red and orange.© Roberta

Adapting and renovating

I soon discovered that studying didn’t have to mean being cooped up indoors. I started taking my books to a quiet corner of the park or an outdoor café. The library, although darker, can be a great choice too, often cooler and quiter. The change of scenery did wonders for my mood and productivity. I do like my space, but I personally need to change it up every now and then.

Outside of the books available at the university or in your room, I also used online resources to make my study sessions more efficient. The online University Library or online archives such as Jstor or Project Muse are just a few of the resources you can use. I tried my best to manage my time and use online resources for quick reference. This helped me maximise my study time and left me with more time to enjoy the summer.

Roberta sits in a cozy café and smiles.
Roberta sits in a cozy café and smiles.© Roberta

Study together and take a break

Studying became a lot more enjoyable when I started studying with a friend. We met in open spaces or cafés and turned our study sessions into social gatherings. It was a great way to learn, share ideas and just simply enjoy the time together. I also learned the hard way that marathon study sessions without breaks were counterproductive, at least for me. Short breaks helped to refresh my mind and to keep me focused. I used these breaks to enjoy a short walk, a refreshing drink or just a few moments of sunshine.

Studying during German summer can be challenging as you are surrounded by so many possibilities for fun and social gatherings, but with the right strategies, it’s definitely manageable. I am still learning this way to embrace the summer without letting my studies fall by the wayside. So here’s my advice: soak up the sun, enjoy the summer, but don’t forget your books!

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