With the first semester of school winding down, it’s easy to lose focus and begin to splurge on the free time a little bit too much. For many of us, winter break is a time for relaxation, spending time with family and friends, and taking a break from the multitude of stress thrown at us. These are all undoubtedly important, but it’s also crucial to effectively manage your time and make sure you’re still getting the most out of your break.
For some of you, winter break may be a gift in disguise (exam break, anyone?) and it might be crunch time to get that studying in, manage deadlines, and STILL complete the required readings. If you’re in that boat, make sure you’re still staying healthy and looking after yourself! Try to relax every now and then – whether by reading a book for enjoyment, trying out a new recipe, or going Boxing Day shopping (you know you want to!) – having that free time allows you to mentally dial down instead of pushing your brain to the max 24/7. Simultaneously, this is the perfect time to begin honing those strategic study tactics so you can benefit as much as possible from studying, without overworking yourself.
Taking these breaks is crucial, for both physical and psychological reasons.
Pushing your body to its extremes may lead to fatigue, withdrawal, and even falling ill. The last thing you want is to be coughing constantly in that exam room! Studies and tests have shown numerous times that resting for a reasonable time period allows you to maximize your focus and drive, which leads to more effective studying. Work smarter, not harder!
For everyone who is fortunate enough to have the winter break as a full break, with no stressors and assignments to complete, you might be tempted to knock your shoes off and zone out completely. While it’s nice to relax, make sure you’re still holding yourself accountable and staying organized for when school does roll back around. To do this, you might find it helpful to keep an agenda or planner with your plans for the week, just to keep track of whatever the hectic holidays decide to throw at you. In your spare time, consider setting goals for the upcoming new year – not just academically, but also personally, to get a head start on the fresh 365 days. Even if you think resolutions never stick, you never know – this might just be your year!
At the same time, when Boxing Day comes around, feel free to splurge a little (if your budget allows it) and take advantage of all the savings around you – it’s a good excuse to buy some new supplies that’ll motivate you when the second semester starts.
Whatever your circumstances may be, be sure to enjoy your holidays.
A couple of weeks may not seem like much, but make the most of it. Let go of your worries every now and then, stick to your schedule, and stay level-headed – and you’re bound to have the most enjoyable, satisfying, and meaningful time off.