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The Sweet Side of Summer

Questions and tips to help you re-focus for the year ahead

May 18, 2017 9:56 AM

Whether you’ve grown up in the Old-Line State or are still relatively new to the area, by now you’ve hopefully learned about the classic Maryland summer tradition – the snowball. A delicious combination of shaved ice and flavored syrup topped with marshmallow cream.

Consider the academic year you just had at UMBC to be your layer of flavored snowball ice. Maybe it was sweet (like cherry) or slightly sour (like lemon lime). Regardless of what the year was like for you, engaging in this time of summer reflection is a way to make sense of all that took place and tie it all together (aka your marshmallow topping).

Summer reflection doesn’t have to be a formal process. It also shouldn’t cause you to feel anxious or overwhelmed at what might have gone wrong.

So treat yourself to a snowball and ask yourself the following questions:

1.      Academically, what kind of year did I have?

What were my successes and what were my challenges?

Did I complete as many credits and courses as I had planned?

Was there a particular class that gave me a new perspective?

Tip: Review your class schedule for fall semester and make sure it still makes sense given the academic year you just completed (i.e.- do you need to repeat a class? Are you enrolled in too many credits?).

Tip: Consider taking summer courses as a way to play catch-up or get ahead. Summer registration is still open and doesn’t require advising clearance.

2.      From a social/extra-curricular standpoint, what was my involvement like?

Did I get involved on or off-campus in activities/events that interest me?

How did I do balancing your social and academic life?

What are my biggest takeaways from getting involved? What lessons did I learn?

Tip: It’s never too late to get involved. If you are looking for opportunities on campus, be sure to check out the Student Involvement Fair early in fall semester. In the meantime, feel free to explore the list of on campus organizations here.

What is my current satisfaction and confidence level with my intended major of study?

What aspects of my major am I enjoying and what uncertainties do I still have?

How does what I'm studying impact my future career goals?

If you are still undecided or are considering changing your major: what steps can I take to make progress towards a decision?

Tip: If you are still exploring career options related to your academic major, spend time this summer talking to people who have careers that interest you.

Tip: Check out the self-exploration resources online via UMBC’s Career Center.

4.      Financially, where am I right now?

How did I budget my money during the academic year?

Do I have concerns about paying tuition or funding other aspects of college?

Am I aware of the financial tools and resources available to me as a UMBC student?

Tip: Check out the status of your student account on myUMBC (under the topic Billing & Personal Finances) to be sure everything is in order.

Tip: Explore the Financial Smarts @ UMBC website for great information on financing your education, living on a budget, and the concept of credit.

 Finally, if you need support this summer, please know that UMBC is still up and running! While many faculty members will not be on campus, and staff might have limited hours depending on vacation schedules, campus offices are still open and available to assist students.

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