STUDY SKILLS: Staying on Track Over the Holidays
This article has been written by Imogen Van der Meer, a VCE English tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Imogen then please check out her page here.
Easter is coming up, which means your first proper set of holidays isn’t far away! I’m sure Term 1 has been a lot to take in, especially for those in year 12, who have been bombarded with SACs and study and revising, all in preparation for those ATAR scores.
I know how much you’re looking forward to this break. It’s been a stressful couple of months, and you need some time to recuperate. I remember that feeling of relief when I arrived home after the last day of term; it was like letting out a breath that you’ve been holding in for weeks.
And if you’ve been working as hard as you should be in VCE, you’ll be needing this break, not just wanting it. Your brain needs to reset, your body needs to recover, your motivation needs to return.
It’s important, however, to make sure you never switch off.
Yes, it sucks, but particularly in VCE, holidays aren’t exactly ‘holidays’. I guess the best way to describe them would be ‘leisurely study periods’; because there’s still work to be done and habits to maintain, only you have a bit more time to do them.
Don’t worry, you are not expected to lock yourself in your room for two whole weeks and study for sixteen hours a day. I mean, you can if you want, but it really isn’t necessary.
You just need to keep practising the balancing act of study and recreation.
I have a few tips to help with this:
- HAVE THE FIRST WEEKEND OFF – you deserve it! And you’ll still have plenty of time to finish all of your homework. I did this for every set of holidays, and it helped so much with staying motivated. Sometimes I’d even give myself the Monday, especially if I had something planned (like Easter), so I could really get a decent break from study. You just have to make sure you get right back into it once the weekend is over. And to do that…
- MAKE A STUDY TIMETABLE – you’ll be surprised how effective this is, not only in getting all of your studies in but also in fitting in a tonne of relaxation time! And make sure your timetable reflects your ideal style of studying. For me, I preferred starting early in the day, have a break for lunch and some exercise, study some more until dinner, and then have the rest of the night free. And on Fridays, I’d only study until lunchtime, and then watch a movie or two in the afternoon.
- LEAVE THE HOUSE – you’ll drive yourself mad otherwise! Have a little study break and walk the dog for 20 minutes. Plan an afternoon off and head to the city. Anything, just make sure it’s outside your home.
BUT… be responsible. There’s still work to be done. Remember the balance.
Enjoy the break, you’ll need it. But you also need to keep that study cap on!
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