Mind Tricks: Staying Sharp over the Summer

Though the summer is far from over (thank goodness!), you’ll be packing up for fall move-in before you know it! We couldn’t let you go back to school without sharing at least a few of our favorite tips to keep your brain sharp over the summer. Just like your body, your mind needs a good workout too! Once you’re back in the classroom, you’ll be glad you kept your mind sharp while you had your time off!

1. Skim your textbooks.

Okay, okay….we know you sold a bunch of textbooks back at the end of the semester, but we’re sure you held on to at least a few. There’s no shame in pulling them off the shelves now and then and taking a look through – especially if you’re studying a foreign language! Sometimes, even just seeing familiar terms and language can help refresh your memory. Take some time each week to flip through some chapters you’re likely to see again in the future.

2. Read articles relevant to your major.

There is no better way to get ahead of the game this year, than by reading about current events and news related to your major. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even stumble upon an interesting event you’d like to attend! When you keep up with current trends in your field, you’ll surely impress your professors during group discussions and individual participation. It’s a great way to apply what you learn in the classroom to real life. Plus, this will allow you to take charge, building upon your own knowledge and improve yourself as a person. Look at you go!

3. Do a big ol’ puzzle.

Stuck inside on family vacation? Passing on the 100 degree to spend some quality time with your air conditioner? This is the PERFECT time to break out one of those massive puzzles and have some fun! Challenge your brain spatially and create some new neural pathways while you’re at it. Hey, you won’t even realize you’re really prepping for that fall engineering course!

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4. Try your hand at a Crossword or Sudoku. 

Yes those fun games are GOOD for your brain! Open up the newspaper (maybe even take some time to practice Tip #2 above?) and head over to the crossword puzzle. These games strengthen your cognitive abilities and exercise your brain to help you think more clearly and more quickly. With the availability of these puzzles online, there’s no excuse not to try your hand at one of them! There’s a reason studies show that people who do crosswords and similar games retain clearer thinking into their old age – they’re good for you!

5. Join a book club.

Book clubs are great for keeping your mind active and create. The best part? All you have to do is crack open some interesting books and discuss what you thought with friends! Check in with your local library or community center to see if they have any book clubs that are open for new members. Check out our picks from our BNC Book Club and join the conversation on Twitter….we can be your virtual book club!

Written by Guest Blogger, Ilana S. of Rutgers U

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How are you using that brain of yours this summer? Share your favorite mind-ful activities with us on Twitter or in the comments below!

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