Summer hacks for staying sharp, having fun

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You can use your summer to relax with time off from school, but students can also use it to get ahead in their schoolwork or save money. 

Dixie State University students have a few tips for people who are staying in St. George for the summer and are looking for fun ways to beat the heat while making your time worthwhile.

Keep up on your school skills

“I stay sharp on my school skills by going over my previous semester notes,” said Anna Garcia, a junior nursing major from Rock Springs, Wyoming. “I try and review all my anatomy, physiology, biology, et cetera so I don’t struggle through my other classes. Many students probably take summer as a time to relax, but I use the summer as a time to prepare myself for the following school year.”

Jade Ervin, an English major from Los Angeles, said she goes back to California for the summer, but she likes to keep up on her English skills during her time off.

“I usually read and write short stories,” Ervin said. “I definitely don’t take summer classes, [but] I like to get some reading done.”

Jessica Gomez, a media studies major from Mesquite, Nevada, said she also likes reading in her free time. She is planning on staying in St. George to work over the summer.

“I love reading during the summer, so I think that helps keep me sharp,” Gomez said. “I also find myself watching more National Geographic or documentaries. I’m not sure if that really helps, but I always know a lot of unnecessary facts that not many people know.”

You can rent books and movies from DSU’s library in the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons. 

Take summer classes

Taking summer classes is a way to earn extra credits for your degree. You can take these classes online or on campus.

“For the past three years I’ve taken summer classes,” Garcia said. “I want to finish my degree as fast as possible so I try to take at least 6-8 credits [in the summer]. Also, being an out of state student, taking summer classes is a bit cheaper because I get in-state tuition.

You can take summer classes in either five-week, eight-week, or full-term 14-week block classes. Most general education classes are offered in the summer, so if you are looking to get those classes out of the way summer can be a prime time to do so.

However, there may be some financial drawbacks to taking summer classes if you are on scholarship or financial aid. For many scholarships or grants, you must take at least 12 credits to be eligible. If you only take a few summer classes this isn’t always realistic.

Internships and job shadowing opportunities are also prevalent in the summer. View these opportunities on career.dixie.edu or visit the career center for more information.

Head outdoors

Even though St. George often has temperatures over 100 degrees in the summer, evenings and mornings are usually cool enough to take in the scenery while being active.

“This summer will be my first summer here [in St. George], but I’m looking forward to having all of these awesome trails that will be available around here,” Gomez said. “I’m also excited to go thrift shopping a lot more.”

Gomez said she will probably go swimming in a cold pool if she wants to beat the heat.

“I de-stress during summer by going camping,” Garcia said. “I feel as though getting away from people helps me just focus on myself and forget about my worries for a couple of days.”

With Zion National Park less than an hour away and many other national parks close by, students who stay in St. George over the summer are close to a mini-getaway. 

Along with these options for students staying in St. George for the summer, there are many service opportunities in the St. George area. Participating in service activities can help build your resume while you give back to the community. Find organizations looking for volunteers at volunteermarch.org.