Here are some of our top tips to make your Christmas break as productive and enjoyable as possible.
Christmas is a busy time and the idea of blocking out entire days (or even weeks) for revision can be daunting – not to mention unrealistic. As such, it’s important to plan your revision in around key events, like family gatherings or festive shopping. Set yourself realistic targets: give yourself a few hours of a morning to complete a certain amount of revision, for instance, and then reward yourself by going out to see friends. If you plan ahead, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you can squeeze out of each day – leaving plenty of time to enjoy yourself!
Make revision an easier process by re-organising your notes. Just the process of going through your notes can help facts to sink in, and re-organising the information into easy-to-read notes has been shown to help with recall (colour-coded notes, for example, are easier to remember).
Carve out a quiet space to work in so that you can return to it each day and build up a routine. Make sure it’s a place that is free of distractions and that you have room to store all your revision tools (books, notes, highlighters, etc.) so that you’re able to hit the ground running whenever your allotted period of revision commences.
As mentioned earlier, revision can feel daunting – especially when a hectic Christmas period looms. Another way to make the process feel more manageable is to break it down into small chunks: if you split your workload into different tasks and chip away at it a little at a time, you’ll be amazed by how much progress you make.
Christmas holidays not only offer a much-needed break from school or college – they also provide an opportunity to catch up with the important people in your life. Studying, however, can feel like an isolating process, and it’s common to worry that revision will take you away from your friends and family. However, there’s no need to miss out on quality time with your loved ones – instead, get them to help! Forget a family round of scrabble and make a game out of your revision by creating a quiz or asking your family to test you using flash cards. This will give you a break from the loneliness of study and get your brain working in a different way, whilst giving your family members the chance to spend time with you and gain insight into what you’re doing at school.
It’s tempting to take a break from routine over the holidays, now that there’s no longer morning assembly or a lecture to attend – but it’s really important that you keep to a pattern when it comes to sleep. Burning the midnight oil and then sleeping in late isn’t beneficial: the body’s natural circadian rhythm means that sleeping when it’s dark and rising when it’s light gives a much better quality of rest. So, with that in mind, try to get your full eight hours of sleep, and go to bed at a reasonable time and get up before lunch: you’ll feel much more rested and alert if you do!
At such a social time of the year, the family home can feel hectic: with friends and family dropping in, younger family members playing with new toys, and lots of preparations taking place (for example, shopping, cooking, and washing!). If you’re finding it hard to concentrate at home, gather up your things and head out to the local library or even a café. A change of scenery is a great way to renew concentration and focus; and, as an added bonus, getting out into the fresh air and catching some winter rays releases a feel-good hormone called serotonin. Even escaping for an hour or two could do you the world of good.
If the thought of cracking the books over the holiday seems intimidating, or you’re worried that you won’t be able to motivate yourself to get going, why not consider booking a few sessions with a private tutor? A tutor can help with any areas of study you struggle with, as well as setting short-term goals to ensure that you achieve the right balance of work and play over the holidays. Contact Mentor today to find out how we can help you make the most of your vacation.