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How to manage revision during the holidays

A Picture of Joanne

We’ve made it to the Christmas holidays! FINALLY! Four long weeks off, sure to be filled with fun, festivities and… Revision?!?!

For many of us, these holidays are overshadowed by January exams or coursework deadlines to meet. The thought of doing more work at home (when all you want to do is eat all the food and binge-watch all the TV shows) is difficult. Especially if your mind already switched to ‘full festive mode’ in mid-November, around the time your eager housemates started playing Michael Bublé’s Christmas album on repeat…

Yes, the past month has mostly been dedicated to fun Christmassy events, eating too much food, frantically trying to spend as much time as possible with uni friends before they disappear off home, and maybe the occasional lecture.

[Clockwise from top left: 1&2 – Medsoc Winter Ball; 3 – getting crafty with house decorations; 4 – pub grub; 5 – Newcastle Uni carol service; 6 – farewell brunch with coursemates]

But keeping up with your studies during the holidays doesn’t have to be (too) painful. Here are my top tips on the matter:

1. Set yourself goals

At the risk of sounding like your high school teachers, setting yourself targets can be a great way to stay on track. It doesn’t have to be as strict as a revision timetable – make them as general or specific as you need. For example, ‘aim to revise __ lectures in a week’, or ‘write ___ words of essay by Tuesday’.

2. Have a suitable study space

It’s important to have somewhere you can work undisturbed – away from distractions such as annoying parents and/or siblings, the TV, whichever games console you’re emotionally attached to, etc… If you’re struggling to study in the house, consider going to a library instead?

3. Keep in touch with friends

Your friends from home will be there for you when you’ve read what feels like the billionth textbook chapter of the day, and are consequently in dire need of human interaction. Your uni coursemates will probably be stressing about the same things as you, and be more than willing to try to answer your questions. Don’t become isolated, and don’t be afraid to ask them for help (or their latest gossip).

4. Take a break

After all, it’s Christmas! Accept the fact that there will inevitably be days where you get absolutely nothing done. Whether it’s due to family commitments, celebrations, recovering from said celebrations, or simply because you need a day off, don’t feel guilty about it. Rest is important for productivity, as long as you make up for lost time on the other days!

Time for me to take my own advice, and do some work… See you in 2015 😀

PS: The header photo (taken by yours truly) features the Christmas lights on Grey St, with the Theatre Royal in the background. Newcastle’s a very pretty city!

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