Having to revise over the Christmas holidays is undoubtedly one of the less pleasant parts of university life. After making it through the exhausting combination of December deadlines and end-of-term/Christmas celebrations, revision is probably the last thing on your mind, but it has to be done. Here are my top tips for coping with revision over the holiday period.
It’s tempting to take a few days off as the holidays begin, but in my experience it’s deceptively easy to end up taking the entire holidays off. Instead, make sure you start your revision on the first day of the holidays, even if it’s just filing, planning or watching a lecture recap.
This is true of all revision, but especially over Christmas. Don’t plan to revise on Christmas Day or New Year’s because, even with the best intentions, it probably won’t happen. Decide which days you’re going to study and try to stick to your plan. That way you’ll have a sense of progress when you follow your plan and you won’t feel guilty for taking time off.
It’s the holidays. There are relatives everywhere and Christmas songs on repeat. It’s time to escape. Personally, I like to study in cafés where you can reward yourself with cake or coffee when you finish a chapter, and it’s harder to be distracted by television or procrasti-cleaning your room.
Technology is one of the biggest revision pitfalls, but it’s also a useful revision tool. Applications like Cold Turkey let you block websites and applications on your computer so you can’t be distracted by Facebook when you’re working on an essay. My favourite anti-distraction app, Focus Now, lets you grow trees to fill your farm. If you use your phone during your ‘study time’ your trees will die!
Exams are stressful and exhausting, and relaxing over the holidays can be more beneficial than staying up worrying over what’s going to come up in the exam. If you want to catch up with friends or eat leftover turkey and watch Christmas television all day, that’s alright. Just don’t forget about revision altogether!