APU Careers & Learning Editor's Pick Online Learning

Brain Rut: How to Get Out of One

Summer is on its way, and if you live up north the pools are opening up this weekend. With barbecue and vacation season at the forefront of every one’s mind, giving your all to your online classes starts to get tougher this time of year. I still view summer as a time to goof off, like I’m back in high school and just sitting around with friends waiting for the burden of classes and paperwork to begin all over again. And I’ll admit that my mind sometimes take a short sabbatical reminiscing about the little responsibility I had then, this is called Brain Rut. Some people have the luxury of taking a mental vacation this time each year. For others,  if your time isn’t solely devoted to attending classes, then you can’t afford to let your mind and motivation wander.

It’s ok to give into the brain rut on a vacation day from work, or when your kids just start summer camp; because face it with them preoccupied this would normally be the time you get things done or have some time to yourself to unwind. And taking a day or two isn’t a bad idea, but don’t get stuck in your “rut”. Keep your mind agile and aware. If you’ve signed up for classes throughout the summer look at it as a great way of keeping your mind in shape. Instead of focusing on what you’ll look like on the beach, concentrate on how you’re doing with your classes. The more attention and care you give to your studies now, the more you’ll be thanking yourself later when your  GPA is healthy and you’re that much closer to graduating or being promoted for your work and new knowledge.

I came across a well written article on ways to exercise your brain when you’re in a rut. The author explains that in order to solve challenges is to use your established patterns of completing tasks and applying them to new challenges that may arise. See the full article written by Sherelle Walker, M.A. on Scientific Learning.

Combat your summer brain fatigue this year. Make a list of goals you want to achieve, and add in some fun trips or activities along the way. Remember, as an online student, you can attend school from anywhere. So if your wifi reaches out to the sand on beautiful beach, bring your laptop and get your classwork done.

– J. Mason

Comments are closed.