The turkey has been digested, you’ve slept for roughly 72 hours in the past four days, and you’re back to sitting in the classroom, trying to remember how to do this whole “school” thing. I know it can be tricky, but we are here to help.
For many students, there are only a few weeks left in the semester, and it can seem like the hardest choice in the world to crack open those textbooks after spending the last few days forgetting what it’s like to be a college student. However, these next few days are crucial to ending your semester well – you don’t want to throw away 12 weeks of hard work just because you’d rather be eating pumpkin pie with your family.
Here are a few things you can do this week to get you back into study mode. This way, you can save all that leftover laziness until your holiday break.
Brush Up On Your Notes
The few days before Thanksgiving break are pretty much a joke to most classes and professors. Many students have already hopped a plane back home, and everyone else is just itching to leave as soon as possible. Maybe you didn’t even have your class last week.
This just means that it’s a good idea to look over what you covered in each of your last classes. Your last lecture or lab might seem like ages ago, and if you put this refresher off until studying for your finals, it will take you even longer to remember everything. Even if you just spend five minutes going over your notes, it will help tremendously.
Set Up An Organized Schedule
Over break, you probably lost a lot of your helpful study habits – it just takes a few days without responsibilities to forget that you have any. That means that you need to spend a little bit of time in the planning stages to make sure that you manage your time well.
Even if you didn’t have an exact schedule before, it’s a good idea to make one now. Block off a certain amount of time to work on schoolwork, exercise, and (of course) eating. You should even build in some time for videogames or TV or whatever you do to relax – think of that as a reward for not becoming a complete slacker.
Turn Off The Outside World
Speaking from my experience as a student and a writer, the outside world can be a wonderful place for distractions. And nothing are as satisfying as distractions when you’re actually trying to get some work done.
What I mean by “turning off the outside world” is basically turn your room into the fictional world from the show Revolution. No, you don’t have to start using bows and arrows – just pretend that everyone you know isn’t just a text away. Turn off your phone, unplug your internet, and just focus. All you need is a Google search of “who played the dad in the 1995 film Casper?”* for you to have hours of distractions, so just avoid the internet all together.
Find Other People Who Will Make You Study
Studying on your own can be a futile exercise in will power. You could end up looking at the same flashcard for an hour and not retain the information. However, if you find some people who will politely encourage you to study, you will most likely get more done.
I’m not saying to find a taskmaster who will look over your shoulder. I’m just saying if you study alongside your friends or classmates – even if you aren’t studying the same thing – you might feel a little more pressure to actually do work because you can’t take a nap or watch 15 hours of Gilmore Girls. Unless of course this conflicts with…
Stick to the Study Method That Works For You
No one knows the best way for you to work more than you. Okay, so you might not have your study method perfected at this point, but if you’re a decent student, chances are you’ve been doing something right. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel.
For example, I like to have TV on in the background when I do work. Not any new shows or ones that require my absolute attention – just shows that I’ve seen so many times that it almost because a soothing, white noise. Does this work for everyone? Of course not. But it works for me, so I’m not going to mess with it.
After all, when it comes down to it, nothing is going to get you back into study mode more than you. You can’t flip a switch and become the perfect student. But if you know what works and even better, know what works for you, you just might forget all about that relaxing time off from school…until your holiday break.
*It was Bill Pullman.