March 14, 2011 | | Leave a comment Forget Spring Fever. Stay focused and you’ll benefit in more ways than one. Here’s my thinking: You probably cannot afford or have the time for a spring fling somewhere warm. The kids are in school, so you have other restrictions too. Rather than taking the spring and summer off from schoolâ€¦you should keep going and get it done. Spring and summer semesters are an ideal time to learn more and get those credits completed. And you can do it all in a compressed, financially advantageous time period. Granted, the time period between April and August is traditionally more relaxed. But ponder itâ€¦Taking a class or two during between school semesters can be a big plus. Depending on your school, you will have access to boutique-style classes taught by top-notch faculty who otherwise might not be available. The classes are taught at convenient times, allowing for greater flexibility. And summer courses allow students to graduate early if they choose. “We believe summer school is worth it,” said Jim Rosenblatt, dean of Mississippi College School of Law. “Students take summer school in order to be graduated early so they can take the spring bar exam, to take a lighter load in a semester when they have law journal responsibilities or are a member of an advocacy team, or to complete a JD/MBA degree in 3 Â½ years.” Focusing on one or two classes during the spring or summer also means you can concentrate more on these subjects – a pleasure not normally allowed to a full-time student. You can get more done and not have to divide your loyalty among professors or assignments. Summer sessions in particular may not be as long, so you can pack more in during a shorter time. Yes, there is always a negative. You probably already are tired – and having a family just complicates things. So if you don’t do well on the class it can drop your grade point. That is something no one can afford, no matter what the price tag on the class. And it is important to work during the summer months for the experience or seek out an internship. This training is key to finding a job later as well. You may even want to use that typically wasted time between spring, summer and fall and turn it into a mega-experience. You could go abroad if that is in your budget. You may want to try an unpaid internship or work experience if you can get into the place of your dreams. It is all valuable and it will all add to your life one way or another. If you cannot take a class, don’t worry. Think of your time off as recharging your battery. Studies have shown that employees who take advantage of their vacation days perform better in the near and long-term while also being happier than those who let their days squander. According to the folks over at Dale Carnegie Training, “a vacation’s existence is not accidental, and no one should ever overlook his or her allotment. People should feel empowered to claim their time and to enjoy it to the fullest.” These are business people, after all, and they’re not going to recommend something that isn’t beneficial for you and for the companies you would work for. Ultimately, a happier you will have better health and energy, which are the critical elements in success.Â So do what it takes to make you happy. Today, on the day after Spring Forward, about nine more hours of sleep would make my family happy. But we’ll get through it – knowing that those long, warm summer nights outside will make these cold, pre-spring mornings worth it.