We're in the middle of summer and I admit there’s nothing much better for a student than finally getting a break from the school year. Summer plans are made for swimming, barbeques, vacations out of town, or plain old blissful sleeping. In my middle and high school years, summers were basically comprised of only those activities, and so when fall came back again, I often found myself less prepared for school than desirable. Nowadays, it’s not as easy to start school again after a summer of lazing around and having fun, so I have come up with a few ways to keep the brain from turning to mush over the break. Reading. We all know that reading exercises the mind and improves its functions, but sometimes we do not read as much as we would like. In summertime, even if you’re working or taking summer classes (like I am), you can still always find time to read. The struggle is to remember you have a book waiting for you every time free time presents itself. Personally, I like to tie my reading into another activity, that way it has double importance. For instance, I want to work on my tan, so I remember to take my book outside and sit out on the lawn before the sun goes down so I can get both items done simultaneously. The choice of book doesn’t need to be business-related, in my opinion, as long as you make time to read, but at the moment, I am reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Sudoku, Crosswords, and other Puzzle Games. Puzzle games are a good exercise for your brain, as well as a decently fun pastime. Some people love playing these sorts of games. I don’t think they are riveting, but they keep your mind working, and that’s what counts. A book full of these puzzles can be picked up for under five dollars, and could be played while simultaneously watching TV or waiting in line somewhere. Stay in Touch with Business Happenings. Whether it be through social media, chatter, or the newspaper, it’s helpful to stay in tune with what’s going on in the business world. If a major corporation collapses over the summer, it’s nice to not be the last one hearing about. When fall classes come around again, you’ll already be ahead of the game if you have kept up to date with changes in Corporate America. In my experience, I have found that the students who followed this sort of news were also the students who participated more, got called on more, and made better grades. Keep Asking Questions and Keep Seeking Knowledge. We’re going to get a little more hypothetical and imaginary now. In everything you do, always seek the answers to your questions. Knowing more about how a friend dealt with a conflict, or how to time-manage your activities for the day, or how to maintain balance on a surfboard – all of these are valid experiences. Everything you encounter in your daily life has a lesson or at least a reassertion of a lesson that you can take with you. As you go through your daily routine, complete every happening to the best of your ability, and seek to learn from any mistakes or anything that could have been made better. These lessons in understanding how the world works will aid you the most in the future. This post concludes my writing. I have enjoyed contributing to Forté and I hope that my words have been helpful, or if not, at least they have offered perspective. As my final words, I wish everyone good luck not only in their professional life, but also their personal life, as the two weigh heavily on the other. Remember to always keep moving, even if you have to move slowly. Do not let anything stand between you and your goals! If you continue on your path, and never quit, you will accomplish anything you desire! Good luck everyone! Angela Coquis is a junior at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is majoring in Management Information Systems and wants to live abroad and pursue a career in database management. She enjoys Virtual Campus and her dream job is owning a bakery.