Plan For College

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Top 7 Study Tips for the Busy Holiday Season

We're in full swing for the holidays and it's about to get even busier. On top of the holidays, it's crunch time for high school students with finals, projects, plays, tournaments and college planning deadlines. Then add these into the mix:

  • Shopping for presents
  • Holiday parties
  • Cooking/baking
  • Hanging decorations and lights
  • Family visits and trips
  • Holiday tournaments and performances
  • Finals
  • Project and paper deadlines 
With all of that going on, you know time will be hard to come by. That's why you need a plan to make sure you get all of your studying and school work done on time and well. Here are seven tips to implement to stay on top of work during the holiday season: 

1. Create a schedule (for schools and events)

Get out the calendar...whether it's on paper, in Outlook, or in an assignment notebook. Add in holiday party dates, rehearsals/practices, Christmas shopping plans, chores, dates for family visits and more. Once you have all of that in there, you'll notice the time crunch. Now add in assignments, tests, and deadlines. Let this dictate how early you should start projects.

2. Make your own early deadlines

Let's say you have a paper due on December 14th. From #1 above, however, you learned how full nights will be wiped out with holiday events. For that reason, make your own deadline a few days ahead, like December 12th. If you get it done early, you'll have more time to refine it, and otherwise you'll give yourself a nice little holiday buffer.

3. Start the study process a few days earlier than normal

This is similar to #2, but it attacks the time issue from the other side. Whereas in #2 we said to set early deadlines for yourself, this tip focuses on the beginning of the study process. If it usually takes you about one week to complete a 5 page paper, plan on it taking ten days during the holidays since you're so busy. For that reason, start everything earlier than normal.

4. Set aside study times

Back to the calendar. When you're planning out your days and starting earlier than normal on projects, set aside specific times for studying and school work. Typically, you may have a full day off after school, but that's not the case during the holidays.

5. Attack the big projects first

Do not procrastinate on the big tests, papers and projects. It's no secret that high school students have successfully pulled off all-nights to complete projects, but that's just no doable during the holidays. Start chipping away at research and studying before doing the small assignments each day to make sure you stay on track.

6. Communicate with your family about work

You may have a big brother coming home from college a week before Christmas or your mother may need help with cooking, setting up decorations, sending holiday cards, or cleaning the house for guests. To manage through all of these unplanned distractions, it's important to communicate with your family about your school work - when it's due and when you plan on setting aside time to work on it.

7. Eat healthy and sleep (when possible)

Half of the battle during the holidays is maintaining some semblance of normal life. And we know diet and sleep are big parts of productivity. So amidst the sugar cookies and late nights, find ways to eat healthy and get solid sleep when you can.

With these tactics, you can lower your stress level and fully enjoy the magic of the holidays. Seasons greetings college bound students!


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