By Ren Evans 

Before getting to the post, I want to welcome all students to the 2021 summer term. My colleagues and I commend your educational pursuits during these still uncertain times of the (hopefully late-stage) pandemic. 

Your semester will surely be a busy one, filled with assignments and quizzes, conversations and projects. When coursework is—understandably—your focus, it’s easy to forget that you can mix critical skill-building into your day in practical, non-academic ways, which will benefit your academic work. 

Here are four of those ways, two from the digital world, two from the “real” world: 

  1. Read an entire article in a newspaper or magazine about a topic you wouldn’t normally choose. 
  2. Click around Wikipedia until you get to an entry that you never could have imagined. 
  3. When you’re on the subway or bus or street corner, close your eyes and try to remember everything you just saw (this is a “mental snapshot”). 
  4. When you walk somewhere, take a new route. 

Do you notice a theme?  

All these suggestions involve doing things differently, engaging your mind and body with little new experiences. These deviations from our routine keep us fresh and alert. They stimulate our thinking, which can help us with really rigorous mental tasks—like a semester of college or graduate school. And they’ll help us develop mental acuity, so that our brains age well.  

Give them a try. Let us know what you did, and how it felt.

Interested in signing up for an LEC tutoring session?

Click here for writing and here for math, or visit the LEC Moodle shell.