With winter comes the holiday season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Bodhi Day, and several other festivals occur in this season, making the fall and winter months synonymous with holiday and celebration seasons across the world. With many holidays occurring so frequently from October to January, it is easy for students to lose track of their study schedules during this time. However, neglecting course work during the holiday season can have serious consequences and prove quite detrimental to students’ GPAs in the long run.
If you find yourself in this situation this holiday season, read ahead to find out how you can motivate yourself in these months. There might be endless events, ceremonies, and parties to attend or even organize in the holiday months, but these should not become hurdles in the path to achieve your study goals. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track with your academics during the holidays:
1. Focus on the end goal:
Always keep your end goal in mind. Be it bringing up your grades this semester, your target GPA this year, or even the larger goal of the dream job you want to land, always remind yourself of the end goal. It helps to put up reminders of your goal in strategic places—a poster that you see first thing when you wake up, a post-it on your mirror so you think of your goal as you brush or get ready for the day—so that you have daily reminders that can act as focal points for all your efforts, especially when your days are fraught with distractions during the holiday season.
2. Spend some time on goal setting:
At the beginning of each month or even every week, spend an hour to make a schedule for yourself that includes all your coursework deadlines, family events, any preparation or additional household chores you want to help out with, as well as dedicated study time. Do not forget to include adequate breaks of at least 10-15 mins for every one hour of studying. Setting aside time for different kinds of activities while also planning ahead for any upcoming deadlines will help you ensure that you allocate sufficient time for all activities, both academic as well as social ones.
3. Reward yourself:
It is important to keep your motivation going week to week and month to month. A great way to sustain your study momentum is to reward yourself for the goals you achieve. Plan for both big and small rewards for daily and weekly goals. You managed to finish that To Kill a Mockingbird essay that is due next week on time? Indulge yourself to a full day of no work this weekend! You finished your daily required reading of that chapter on Mitosis for your Biology class? Give yourself an extra hour of gaming or any other preferred activity for that day. Remember that the reward system works only if you are strict and disciplined with yourself.
4. Alternate holiday tasks:
On particularly busy days, it can sometimes become difficult to finish everything that is on your plate. You might have to pitch in around the house to prepare for a holiday get-together or organize one yourself. On such days, a great way to keep up with your studies is to work on chores when you need a break from study. Focusing on an entirely different task from studying that might need more physical or tactile skills like baking, decorating, etc. can act as a wonderful break, refreshing your mind well enough to bring your full mental focus again to your course material.
5. Partner with a study buddy:
If self-motivation is not really your thing, there is no need to despair! You can always partner with a friend in your class to help you power through your course work and reach your study goals. A study buddy like this can work as a great motivator by bringing along a healthy dose of competition to your study schedule. You can check in with each other on either a daily or weekly basis to track each other’s progress. Moreover, you can also help each other out with difficult concepts and check your writing assignments for errors. All in all, a study buddy can help you give that extra push toward meeting your study goals during the holiday season.
6. Create a dedicated study space:
To keep away from all the distractions in a bustling household amidst festive cheer and visiting friends and family, it is essential that you create a quiet study corner for yourself. In addition, your family should be informed in advance that you are not to be disturbed when you are in this space, usually during certain fixed hours that you allocate for daily study. Make a habit of using this space, usually a quiet corner of your room or your study desk, at the same time everyday for your study. You can also decorate this space with motivation quotes, posters, and a graphic timetable or calendar with important deadlines and to-do lists. All these can help you focus better and also act as daily reminders of your end goals.
It is no secret that keeping up with a rigorous study timetable during the holiday season can be a challenging task even for the best and most motivated students. With many holidays and festivals occurring in the fall and winter months, we hope that the tips mentioned above help you continue to keep apace with your coursework. With these helpful tips, you can both study and enjoy the holiday season, making the best of both worlds!