University: Keeping Your Brain Ticking Over Summer

I know only too well how easily knowledge can seep out of your brain over summer – and definitely how much it disappears during a placement year (I’ve now got my second year notes to go through over the next few weeks!).

 photo 2015-07-08 18.54.06_zpszgtrszq7.jpgWhen Ladbrokes sent me some bits and bobs to ‘train my brain’ I thought I’d really put them to the test. Over the past few weeks I’ve played around with the wooden puzzles, pondered over conumdrums and snacked on seeds. The outcome? I’ve definitely had improved concentration, and I’d like to think concepts are being grasped slightly speedier.

I’ve actually been given some advanced reading material by my boss (from exams I won’t touch for at least another two or three years). It might be a coincidence but I’ve definitely not found it as daunting as I’d imagined! My mind has also been more alert at work, I’ve even managed to correct coding errors for others!

So, my top tips for keeping the brain tick-tocking over the summer?

Don’t Do Nothing

You need to keep your mind busy – so don’t lie around in bed until midday or spend all day vegetating on the sofa. I’m not saying you can’t do this, but just not everyday. Get out, be active, take up knitting.
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Eat Healthily

I was always sceptical about how much impact diet has on brain function – and to an extent I still am. However I know myself that if I eat unhealthily, eat a lot of carbs, have a lack of veg, I feel sluggish and in turn my productivity plummets. The best way to avoid slipping into summer indulgence is to top up on healthy snacks, then just indulge a bit more at meal times.

I’m also yet to be convinced by supplements, but with Alzheimer’s in the family I’ll do anything to keep my brain healthy!
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Read Over Notes

If I know I’m going to be carrying on content the next year, I’ll keep refreshing my mind. Admittedly I’ll only do this over the latter half of my break, but it’s far easier than going straight in with no recollection of what you have already covered.

Read Ahead

Yep, geek alert! Sometimes I like to read ahead a little, grasp a few concepts before I get back in a lecture theatre. I find the beginnings of academic years really tough, so for me this takes the pressure off learning!
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Relax – Don’t Over-Do It

It’s important to get the balance right. Yep, you need to continue to work your brain, but you also need some time out. Chill, unwind, catch up with friends and recharge your batteries. And puzzles are great too – check out Ladbrokes’ other suggestions for brain training!
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*Disclaimer: I was sent a few goodies by Ladbrokes for the purpose of this post. All views are my own.

Do you find yourself forgetting content over the long summer? Do you take any steps to keep your brain in gear?