The delicious smell of baking cookies wafts through the house. On the kitchen table, piles of gifts sit waiting to be wrapped. In the living room, a tree stands bare, yet to be decorated. It must be the holidays!
The holiday season seems to get busier each year, with people to see, places to go, shopping to do, rooms to clean and food to cook. On top of the normal holiday hustle and bustle, students have their studies to worry about. Losing weeks of study time to the holiday hullabaloo can have negative consequences for your grades, and it makes getting back into your routine come January a real chore. How can you manage the holiday madness and also stay on top of your studies?
Get some rest
It may seem counterintuitive to slow down during the holiday crunch, but you must rest! WebMD notes that sleep plays a major role in learning, and lack of sleep can impair your concentration and the ability to remember what you’ve learned. So before you crack a book over the holidays, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you have a tough time sleeping enough at night, set aside time for a brief nap during the day.
Letting the time slip away — then waking up in a panic on your last day off — is all too common during the holidays. It’s critical to set goals for what you want to accomplish, such as a certain number of pages to read and review. Set up a schedule that leaves time for fun, rest and relaxation but also builds in a set amount of time each day for studying. Then stick to the schedule, no matter what. Periodically reassess your progress to make sure you’ll reach your goal by the end of holiday break.
Create your personal space
Finding a moment — much less several hours — of quiet time alone can be a challenge over the holidays, especially if you’re bunking with a packed house of loved ones. Your “quiet space” can consist of a corner of the kitchen table, your earbuds and white noise or soft music on your smartphone. You can also commandeer an unused bedroom or a lawn chair outside if the weather is nice. Local libraries often provide free Wi-Fi, and nowadays you’re sometimes allowed to take in your own beverage (with a lid, of course).
Make it a family affair
Why not get loved ones involved in your educational pursuits? If you’re studying for an exam, make some flashcards and enlist help with learning the material. If you need quiet reading time, schedule a group quiet time with school-age kids doing their homework, you studying and older relatives quietly reading.
Take some “you” time
It’s important to take a little time to recharge your batteries during the busy holiday season. A warm bath, a walk around the block or sneaking off to a quiet spot to read a book can all give you just the right boost to get back to your studies.
With all their wonderful craziness, the holidays may not be the ideal time for studying. But with some planning and creativity, you can enjoy the season while keeping a handle on your school work.