University students have been allowed to travel home to spend Christmas with their families now that the national lock down restrictions have ended. Due to the ‘student travel window’ which took place from the 3rd December to 9th December, most Universities moved learning online by the 9th December so students can continue with their learning from home.
During these unprecedented times, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed at the thought of managing studying at home. Although it can be easy to place your University workload low on your priority list during Christmas, you shouldn’t steer away from it altogether at the risk of falling behind. Of course, it is important to take some time away and clear you head, but the last thing you want is January panic. To help you manage your workload during the Christmas break, we’ve asked education expert, Richard Evans at The Profs to share his top tips.
1. Set clear goals
Before you even leave university, set a list of objectives that are achievable in the time you are home. Make a list of tasks you need to complete and find a way to break these up into smaller daily tasks. Make sure you prioritise any crucial tasks such as assignments with an early January deadline. If you manage to complete these in your time frame, near the end of your break, plan to re-read any lecture notes so the information is fresh in your mind when you return in January.
2. Enjoy your breaks
As important as it is to stay on top of your schedule, you need to set times to recharge your batteries. Your Christmas break is ultimately a chance to be surrounded by home comforts and spend time with your loved ones. Time away will also improve your attitude to revision and coursework as you will feel more optimistic. Whilst you’re setting your objectives, you should note down any fun activities you have planned which will motivate you to accomplish tasks. Make a conscious effort to limit your screen time during these breaks to get some clarity and organise your thoughts.
3. Keep in contact with course friends
Speaking to those in the same position can ease your tension. Arrange a weekly video call with course friends during the Christmas break to discuss assignment related questions, queries and tips. You might find that you have the answer to someone’s question which can even ignite a new idea of your own. Offer and seek support from one another, you can even ask a friend to help test your knowledge on a subject area. Always remember that everyone has different study methods that work for them.
4. Talk to someone
Let’s face it. 2020 has been a stressful year. It’s OK – in fact, it’s normal – to be feeling that additional stress. When there is such uncertainty in the world, as there has been this past year, these stressors can manifest in unexpected ways and are likely to make university life feel even more challenging. This is especially true for first years; the stresses of university are typically alleviated by the enjoyment of meeting new people and embarking on new adventures. Lockdown has made it much harder to see or make new friends, and so we lose our best defence against the stresses of a typical university workload. This holiday period, sit down with someone you trust – a family member or friend – and talk about your experiences and the difficulties of first term. Hopefully, you can think of ways to make next year better and new ways to combat the stress.
5. Be positive
When you’re in a good mood, you will find it much easier to challenge yourself and complete a task you’ve been putting off. If you’re in a bad mood, you will find it increasingly difficult to concentrate and beat yourself up if you’re having difficulty. If you find yourself getting consistently frustrated, take a little break away from your workstation, before returning. Also, take the time to see what study method works for you, this could be listening to audio versions of lectures or highlighting keywords in a book. You might find that your original method wasn’t bringing out the best in you.