6 Thanksgiving Study Tips to Stay on Top
You’ve cruised through most of the semester, and now you’re desperately looking forward to some time off. It’s easy to get excited about sleeping in and pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce, but you also need to think about how you handle your routines and study tactics during the extended break.
As anyone in the private sector will tell you, vacations can often do more harm than good to your productivity and your will to continue. The problem is that we tend to shut down mentally, and so when it’s time to come back, we have a much more difficult time getting started.
Luckily, we’ve put together some Thanksgiving study tips for the break that we think will help.
1. Don’t Deviate Too Far Off Your Sleep Cycle.
There is a temptation when you have a few days off in a row to sleep in every day until about noon. We’ve all been there and understand that the struggle is real.
While one good sleep-in day may not be out of line, you should consider curtailing it after that and staying as close to your normal sleep cycle as possible.
The reason for this: when it comes time to go back to class on Monday, it’s going to be so much more difficult if you’ve utilized your Thanksgiving break overcompensating on sleep.
2. Stay Up on Current Events.
It doesn’t take long to swipe through the headlines, read a few news stories of interest, and watch a few videos. You can do most of it from your phone while laying in bed.
Why are current events so important? Aside from the classes you may be taking that require it, staying informed on what’s going on in the world will make you more aware mentally, thus easing the transition from Thanksgiving break to the last stretch of school at year-end.
You can also use the extra smartphone time to catch up on some things that you’ve always wanted to know about — it doesn’t have to be school related.
3. Set Aside an Hour Each Day to Review Subject Areas.
There are 24 hours in a day. If you sleep 8 to 10 of those, that leaves between 14 and 16 hours of “me” time. Just one of those hours can make all the difference in the world when it comes to staying up on your subject areas.
To get the maximum effect, you might consider weighting time in favor of your most difficult subjects first. Spend 12 minutes on fives subjects or 30 on one and 30 on the rest. Whatever works for you!
You don’t have to put in a lot of effort. Simply staying up to date on things is all it really takes to keep things fresh enough on your mind to jump back in when the break is over.
4. Make Nice with Elderly Family Members.
Not all learning has to be boring and mundane and come straight from a textbook. You could learn a lot and have fun doing it by simply talking with your elderly (or older) family members.
Have a conversation with them. Ask them about something in their past, and allow them to share with you the way that things used to be. There is a reason that schools still teach history — we have so much to learn from it!
Getting a 70- or 80-year-old family member’s ear after or before dinner and talking to them about their past can open up a new stream of information to nurture your mind and help you avoid the “use it or lose it” atrophy that often sets in during holiday breaks.
5. Look Ahead to Your ACT or SAT.
For some people, school comes easy and they really don’t “need” the refresher time during the holidays. That doesn’t get them off the hook, though!
If you are a high school student, look ahead to your ACT or SAT. What areas do you struggle with? Consider shifting the focus of your one-hour study time to this (or add a second hour).
By using down time to address your problem areas, you can prepare for the next time you take the ACT/SAT. College students? This can go for you, too, if you have a GMAT or PRAXIS or some other standardized exam on the horizon.
6. Focus on Special Projects.
For a number of high school and college students, Thanksgiving break may be the first time that they have to sit down and take a look at research assignments, which require a lot more work than your standard homework exercise.
If you have a research paper or a special project on the horizon, use your free time to lay the groundwork and get some positive momentum going.
While it may seem anti-climactic to use your Thanksgiving break for this, it can take loads of stress off your plate as you move into finals week.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to ruin your Thanksgiving break in order to stay on top of things. With the study tips presented here, you should be able to stay motivated without falling behind or having a lousy break. Good luck, and happy Thanksgiving!
[Image via bbisd.org]