I am in my final year of university and over the past 6 or 7 years, I have always had to study over the holidays. Whether it be revising for January school exams or writing university assignments, the work never seems to go away. Holidays are such a joyful time of the year and there are so many distractions which sometimes make it almost impossible to study. If this is a problem you’re facing, I hope the following tips help you out and give you some motivation.
1) Get in the right mindset
It’s so hard to work over the holidays because they are generally supposed to be a fun time of year and studying is sometimes anything but that. However, if you have a mindset of ‘I should be having fun over the holiday’ and ‘studying is not fun’, you will never get round to opening your books. You need to remember that the holidays may not be extremely fun 24/7 and that’s ok. You will have plenty of enjoyable moments but you will also have moments when you simply have to grit your teeth and power through that essay that you don’t want to write. You can also try changing your mindset by adopting a more positive attitude towards studying. Think about how fortunate you are to have an education and to be expanding your knowledge by learning new things. Think about how happy your future self will be when the holidays are over and you know you have made an effort to work hard. Try starting with the topics and tasks that you enjoy and find interesting to give you some motivation.
2) Use the people around you as motivation
Most people are at home over the holidays and therefore surrounded by lots of family members. It’s easy to think that you won’t get any work done because you will be surrounded by so many people but you can actually use them to your advantage! Encourage your family members to show an interest in your work and tell them about the tasks you need to complete. You could make a list of the tasks you need to complete each day and show it to a family member. Then, work on each task for a period of time and when that time period is over, go back to that family member and tell them what you have done and still need to do. You can treat them a bit like a study coach or motivator. They can keep you accountable and encourage you to keep going.
3) Study to music
You can try studying to some music to keep you motivated and in the holiday spirit. Music with words can be distracting but you could try listening to music without lyrics. There are lots of piano and jazz instrumentals on YouTube, which were specifically made to aid studying and concentration. You can also find some videos that let you listen to snow falling or a crackling fireplace. It sounds strange but having some calm background noise may really help you to focus.
Here is a link to a jazz instrumental on YouTube:
4) Make a timetable that includes fun breaks
Whether it’s shopping with your friends, watching a movie or going out for dinner, schedule in a few slots into your revision timetable to do some fun activities. Structure your revision around these activities and it will give you some motivation.
5) Switch up your scenery
You can change up your scenery by working in a cafe. Lots of cafes have free Wi-Fi and plug sockets for your laptop/ phone, making them great spaces to work in. You can treat yourself to a snack and hot drink while you work. This will make your holidays a bit more interesting as it will make you leave the house and it will make revision a bit more fun. Lots of cafes are nicely decorated and can be great places to work but do bring some headphones/ earplugs if the sound of people talking distracts you!
Give these tips a try. Remember it’s definitely possible to keep up with your studies and have some fun over the holidays. I know I’ll be reminding myself of this, so you’re not alone!