Receiving emails from various people at university reminding me of the endless list of things I have to do, alongside a warm reminder to ‘remember to take a break’ seems strange and contradictory. After all, if I was to really power through all the things on my to-do list in the holiday period, then I will probably have to skip the ‘taking a break’ part.
Not true of course. Taking a break, in whichever form you prefer, is often as important to productivity as powering through at 100% speed. Not only does it enable you to take a moment to step back and reassess your to-do list, it is also an effective way to boost motivation, as there is only so long you can stare at that essay or application.
So definitely try and take a break over the holidays! Alongside that, take some of these other bits of advice from me to ensure that you take full advantage of these few weeks of freedom.
- Make a realistic revision timetable
Do this at the start of the holidays – just before you change into your holiday jumpers and complete that last minute shopping you’ve been neglecting until you move back home.
The emphasis is on the word realistic. Don’t try and cram everything into the first week or the last week. Study intermittently and work around the different responsibilities that you have. Also if you can, give yourself Christmas Day off as we all know that no work will be done (and should be done!) that day.
Alongside this, be very specific. Instead of writing which modules you’ll cover, try including which lectures and for how long. This will help break down that initial dread that comes with starting any revision period.
- Don’t panic about university!
This is a good time to focus on what you’re doing and how you are doing. So try not to carry over any lingering stress that you had over the semester. Rest well and invest your time in powering through the list you made at the start.
Here’s a list of common things that I panicked about during ‘relaxing’ holiday periods in the past:
– Exams: Always top of the list. The more you prepare, the less you’ll worry. So again, revise effectively!
– Accommodation: This will apply to those who weren’t able to organise accommodation before the end of the semester. During my first year, I was one of you and I definitely panicked a lot!
Now, I’m living in the same accommodation I found in the second semester of first year and I’ve been a happy tenant for two years. So the lesson is, don’t worry too much as there are definitely places available after Christmas and you will find somewhere.
My main advice for this is to keep your options open. Although a place may not be 100% ideal, being able to prioritise what you want and stay flexible around more minor issues will put you in a great position to securing that second year/third year accommodation. Plus, Leicester is huge and the most obvious choices aren’t the only choices out there.
Lastly, don’t throw away those vouchers and coupons that you will get on Christmas day! You never know when you might need 15 bottles of washing up liquid (and you will need it).
So, that will be my last Christmas-related post I promise! I understand that this will become commonplace around the blogosphere so I will try and write something else next week. If you’ve got any holiday-related advice you’d like to share, feel free to pop a comment below!