Making the Most of Your Break
Thanksgiving break has passed, and winter break is just around the corner. For most, this is the time to go on vacation, put school aside, and just relax. For others, however, it is the perfect time to catch up on some college applications, Spanish learning, and community service hours. If you want to get ahead of your peers before you go into the next semester, here are a few tips to make the most out of your break:
Relax– Don’t assume that you are going to spend every hour studying for that upcoming SAT in January. Unless you have the strongest will in the world, you probably won’t accomplish this goal. Instead, accept that these days off from school are meant to serve as a mental, and anything you do accomplish during this time should be seen as an opportunity for improvement and not as an assignment. Make sure you allow some time for your brain to relax. Plan only an hour or two a day to get some work done. You will be surprised at how productive you can be when you are not under any pressure.
Plan accordingly– The above being said, you will have to actively set some time aside to dedicate to work. Do not tell yourself that you will write ahead for your Junior Research project and not write it down in your planner. If you keep putting it off and waiting for that moment of motivation, you will end your break disappointed and behind your goals. Take a moment in the very beginning of your break (or even before it starts if you can managed it) to make a daily schedule of what you want accomplished by the end of the day. Do it in little chunks at a time: on one day, write in that you will complete an outline for your common app essay; the next day, commit to writing out a full introduction; the day after, write one body paragraph. By splitting up your work load into small bits, you will be incredibly productive but still feel like you have a lot of free time in the day.
Do not be disappointed if you fail– Think of the time you are spending working this break as going “above and beyond”. If you set these goals for yourself and don’t meet them by the end of the week, you might feel disappointed and stressed out. Remember that what you are doing is “extra credit”; you will not be behind if you don’t finish it. The most important thing you can do is go into your new semester feeling motivated and rejuvenated. If you complete all your goals, then great job! You will be ahead and ready to take on the new year. If not, then don’t fret. You are not behind.
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