The Christmas break is a perfect time to catch up with family, see old school friends, and stuff your face with no guilt attached. It is the first major holiday, if we do not count Reading Week, that you are reunited with your family after the start of university. Of course, you will want to appreciate the time away from the stress of it all but, at the back of your mind, you will still be very aware of one thing: the dreaded January exams.
Even those lucky few without these tests will undoubtedly have been bombarded with deadlines from your most beloved professors. It is, unfortunately, important to realise that whilst Christmas break is, essentially, a break, it is also a time to catch up on some work and go the extra mile in order to be fully prepared for your return in the new year. Below are some top tips on how to revise over the festive season.
1. Make a Plan
Creating a rough timetable of how you wish to allocate your time is of great importance. It is a lot easier to get distracted when you have no concrete idea of your goals and aims for the day. Therefore, by just jotting down an outline of how you’re going to spend your time, you will be a lot more efficient in your studies. I always find that creating a breakdown of how I wish to allocate each of my working hours is a great tool and also enables me to slip in some well-deserved rests – but not too many!
2. Have Breaks
That being said, please do remember to have breaks. When I was younger, I would try and have a full day of work, then an entire day off. However, this wasn’t good for me and I didn’t even manage to stay focused that entire day. It would make me extremely restless and unenthusiastic about my work. Nowadays, I like switching between doing my work and giving myself a break. For example, as I study languages, I will spend however long it takes me to do a grammar exercise, but then I will treat myself to a ‘break’ by watching my favourite Netflix series in Spanish. It is still something relaxing that takes me away from the intensity of grammar exercises but, at the same time, it is still helping me with my language learning.
3. Keep a Balance
Do bear in mind that Christmas is a time for being with your family. It should not have to be a time when you are locked away in your room and only come out at meal times. Keeping a balance between studying and interacting with others is important, and it will also benefit your learning. I have always found that teaching someone else what I am learning is very useful as it helps me remember what I’ve just studied.
4. Mix it Up
Doing exercise after exercise can get tiresome. Why not add in some different activities to keep your brain stimulated? It might seem early but making revision cards or mind maps can be very useful in the long run, especially when summer exams approach. It all depends on how best you learn, whether you are a tactile learner, an auditory learner, or a visual learner. To find out how each one studies best, click here!
5. Prioritise your learning
Whilst doing that fun project that’s not due for ages may look very appealing, it is still best to prioritise your work and get the more challenging tasks out of the way. If you know that you want to apply for internships and the deadlines are fast approaching, it is best to put those at the top of your to-do list. Remember to estimate the time it takes for each task, including the preparation time and its importance. Doing this will again help you in allocating your time correctly.
6. Look after yourself
Last but not least, do remember to look after your mind, body and soul. For your mind, learn more than just the contents of your textbook. Explore ideas outside of your course, and expand your knowledge to become an all rounded person. For your body, exercise and drink water regularly, as this will keep your brain more active and focused when you do work. And finally, for your soul, meditate. Even taking some time off, without any technologies or other distractions, will help you focus better when you study. Do remember that this is a time to grow as a person, and by doing so you must take care of every aspect of your being.
I hope that these tips have been helpful for you and that you will use them when revising over the Christmas break. Do feel free to leave a comment telling us how you get on with your studying, and any helpful tips that you would like to contribute! Anyway, Merry Christmas to all of you, and happy studying!
University: University of Warwick
Course: Hispanic Studies and French
Most Prized Possession: My photos. I love looking back through past photos and remembering all the highs as well as the lows.
Most Irritating Habit: Working and studying late at night has always been quite enjoyable for me, but it also means that I have to have a coffee in the morning before my 9am lecture!
Favourite Life Hack: Never stop learning.
What’s Next?: An exciting adventure