Sunday, December 30, 2018

Holidays and Break

Being a student nowadays is not easy. Students are perpetually busy and sometimes breaks can disappear without any notice due to extracurricular work. For example, summers may be filled with internships and winter breaks may be used to prepare for upcoming classes. During the school year, some classes move at such an insane learning pace that students sometimes feel obligated to pre-study in order to be able to maintain pace with the class. In addition to this, students often find themselves forgetting previously learned material when they do not study over a break. This great article provides a few good tips for students who worry they may forget material over break.

My favorite part of the article is when it says to, "schedule in the work". Humans generally like routines. Ask yourself this... Do you find yourself doing the same tasks every morning before work or school? Do you drive the same route and find yourself being increasingly more confident (e.g. like you know which lane is the fastest) when driving the same route over and over again? With routines, we can do things more efficiently because repeated practice helps our brain work better. College students generally have the same schedule every week and have homework due on the same day of the week, every week. From this, students quickly enter a routine and work better and better as the semester carries on. However, the problem with breaks/holidays is that this routine gets disrupted and students need to readapt when a semester restarts. In my opinion, this is the reason why some students don't start off well in a semester, even though this is when the material is usually the easiest.

Developing a routine over break that both provides a decent amount of rest but at the same time does not turn off a student's brain is essential to avoiding struggles at the beginning of the next semester. The article says, "Think about schedules in advance of the break to determine when there are 30-60 minute stretches of quiet time that can be used for work.  Is it right after breakfast, or is it mid-afternoon?  Making the work a regular part of the day (like meals and other activities) establishes it as part of a routine". These are some great tips that you will definitely find rewarding at the beginning of the semester! Enjoy the rest of the holiday season and have a happy new year!


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