STUDENT LIFE / NOV. 02, 2014
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How to Study Effectively During Christmas Break

It’s Christmas and all you want to do is sit by a fire, roast chestnuts, listen to holiday music, catch up on some television shows and spend time with family and friends. This can very well be easier said than done considering that a big project or a huge exam may be waiting for you once January rolls around. 

Although having two weeks off from school may be the biggest Christmas gift of them all, the reality is that you will need to mix business with pleasure, work with fun during the 10 or so days off. 

Don’t panic, though, because you’re a responsible, sensible, hard working and dedicated individual. 

With a little bit of planning and some creative, outside-the-box thinking, you’ll be able to open up presents, eat turkey and watch Christmas Day basketball while also keeping up with your studies. Besides, isn’t it nice to do some work inside while the blizzard engulfs your whole town? 

Here are seven ways to study effectively during the Christmas break: 

1. Schedule 

Akin to your school schedule, it’s important to establish a holiday schedule for your studying time. As soon as you arrive home for the Christmas break, sit down for an hour and see what the next several days will look like. Once you have established what is planned for this year’s holiday season, create a schedule accordingly. This means you should set aside between one and four hours a day for reading over your notes, studying your textbook or working on an assignment. 

2. Agenda 

The schedule has been produced. Now is the time to create an agenda, something that can help you allocate time better and improve your study quality. The agenda should include the material to be read, what content will be written for a book report or what notes will be taken down from your textbook. 

3. Difficulty Level 

Is science your easiest subject, while history is the most difficult for you? Or are you more of a wordsmith and mathematics is your downfall? Whatever the case, be sure to concentrate a majority of your time on the hardest subjects. For instance, as you create a schedule with a day imbibed by four hours of study, two-thirds can be dedicated to the intricate topics and the remaining sum can be for the easiest fields. Or, one day can be entirely for the hard stuff and the other day can be for things you consider to be elementary. 

READ: 4 reasons Millennials Should Forget Christmas This Year  

4. Notes 

If you’re waiting for a bus, sitting at a coffee shop waiting for a friend or you’re in the car with your family, have a few pages of notes with you and begin to read them. Rather than perusing your smartphone or playing a video game, study important notes you have, which can be considered additional studying time or as part of your schedule. During the holiday season, time is very limited and of the utmost importance. 

5. Ambiance 

Your study area is crucial to attaining knowledge and the acumen to ace an exam or garner a 100 percent mark on your project. What’s the ideal study environment? A comfortable chair, classical music (preferably Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven), a cup of tea or coffee and adequate lighting. The television should be off and your phone should be on silent and hidden somewhere in the home. 

6. Social Media 

Whether you’re a teenager, a senior at college or a middle-aged employee, it can be easy to get sucked into the vapid world of social media. Sure, your initial plan was to just quickly update your feeds, but now you’re spending two hours reading trending topics, checking out the latest photos your friend posted in Netherlands and seeing what your favourite celebrity wrote. 

As soon as you begin studying, sign out from your social networks and perhaps install certain apps, like Cold Turkey or SelfControl

7. Relax 

All work and no play is counterintuitive. As you cram late at night, work a part-time job and participate in a group project throughout the semester, you may not have enough time to relax and get some sleep. It’s important that you have some downtime and a scheduled few hours dedicated to just you and your enjoyments. Studying is imperative, but so is relaxing your body and mind. 

Christmas is one of the greatest times of the year for many people because it allows family members to catch up on old times, gives workers and students a reprieve and permits everyone to stuff their faces with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing. You can have both a pleasurable and productive Christmas if you mix in both work and play moderately. 

Photo by UBC Learning Commons via Flickr.

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