By Nathan Schiller, Director of Academic Support 

First off, welcome to a new semester! MCNY is a unique college for many reasons, one of which is that we offer a summer term that is equal, in every way, to our fall and spring ones.

This is by design—our accelerated programs allow you to finish your undergraduate degree in under three years or graduate degree in one year. It makes for an extra intense and exciting educational experience, though not one without its challenges.

Enjoying a New York City Summer

Summer traditionally offers students a break from their education. The warm, sunny weather makes the outdoors endlessly appealing.

In our city, you can get to a handful of beaches in under an hour, whether you’re taking subway, driving your car, or riding a bike. Parks are even closer, and filled with picnics and activities. Trees are leafy, streets are lively.

Across the street from our Manhattan campus, the path along the Hudson River is a beautiful place to take a lunchtime stroll. Outside our Bronx campus, “The Hub” teems with open shops, street vendors, and food carts.

Staying Focused on School

With so many outdoor options, how do you stay focused on your school work?

At the end of last semester, we offered advice for thriving in the rush of finals. Now we have some tips for making a strong start to your summer semester.

  1. Look ahead and plan. It can be daunting to stare down a handful of syllabi. So many readings, assignments, discussions. One strategy is to write down the important due dates in your calendar. This way you won’t be surprised by a big paper or test later in the semester. And you’ll be able to identify weeks where your workload will be heavier or lighter.
  2. Talk to your professors. Reaching out to your professors at the beginning of the semester is critical. You want to create a relationship with them so that they have a basis for helping you throughout the semester. Is their syllabus confusing? Are their assignments unclear? Only they can answer these questions—but only if you ask.
  3. Meet your classmates. You also want to talk to your classmates. Say hi, introduce yourself, exchange emails and numbers. If you have to miss a class, you can get the class notes from them. When assignments pile up and the semester gets tough, study groups are great resources—and great motivators to help you stay focused.
  4. Know your academic support professionals. The moment you think you might need help with a paper or a math class, reach out to the LEC and our partners in the library. We can guide you through tough moments, whether that means getting your great ideas for a paper onto the page with clarity, working through a complicated finance or statistics problem, or researching sources of information for your literature review. We’re available all semester, but if we meet you in Week 1 or 2, we’ll be able to help you more effectively than if we meet you in Week 12.
  5. Enjoy yourself. You’re spending this summer in school—but you’ll still have days off. How will you spend Memorial Day or Fourth of July? Will you relax on Saturday or Sunday or one of the weekdays? By identifying the times to work hard and the times to take it easy, you can stay excited about school while enjoying the summer.