Spring Break is time of relaxation from your everyday stresses of academia. However, sometimes your schedule nightmares become reality. In my case, this meant having to study for midterms that started right after my spring break. I originally planned to go to the beach with two of my friends, but my midterm schedule turned into a big conflict of interest. I realized I could have best of both worlds. I just needed to remain organized and committed in completing my work.
Here are some key takeaways that allowed me to balance out my academic requirements with some much deserved breaktime.
Plan Everything Out
Whether you go to Cabo, Colorado or California— you’ll likely have a full itinerary planned out. For me personally, our plans were very chill. This included going to the beach in the afternoon, hanging out with a few beers and watching the sunset. Because of all the downtime, I planned when I wanted to get my work done. The morning would be used for dedicating at least one hour, if not more to studying before my friends woke up. I would then enjoy the rest of my day. Before dinner I would try to carve out an extra block of time to get work done. By establishing a routine, getting my work done became easier.
Your Spring Break isn’t for your Professor’s
Consider office hours a secret hack in terms of understanding the concepts brought up in your class as clearly as possible. However, you’d surprised to understand that most of your professors don’t take a week off during spring break. Their accessibility remains open via email or zoom. If you stress yourself out when studying over Spring Break, shoot your professor an email and work with them during online office hours to really understand the material. In one of my classes, the professor assigned a paper due in two weeks. Still confused by the direction I wanted to take, I decided to go to office hours. One quick zoom call with my professor clarified all of my confusion and made my work so much easier.
As much of a no-brainer this one might seem, make this advice crucial to your studies. Intoxication impairs your studying performance and a bunch of research can prove this. According to the multiple papers, alcohol can impair memory only after a few drinks and creates negative acute learning effects. I can safely say that when I wanted to kick it with my friends and have a drink or two, I made sure to complete all my work for the day. Treat that drink as a reward to motivate you to get your work done!
Check Emails Regularly
During my first few days of Spring Break, I refused to check my emails. This turned into a terrible mistake! That first Monday of my spring break overwhelmed me looking at an inbox filled to the brim with multiple unread emails, some of academic concern and others of internship obligations. I realized that I needed to check them every day to further avoid this and so I did. Not only will you find this approach less overwhelming, but this tactic will make all your future jobs easier. Being on break doesn’t mean you should be impossible to reach.
Last But Not Least, Enjoy Yourself
Believe it or not, this mantra ended up as the easiest for me to forget. At times during my break, I would get so caught up in my work that I would look at my clock and realize how much time went by. The purpose of Spring Break is to give students a release and pause from the stress that can accumulate during the school year. I’m not going to get another spring break for full year, so why waste it? Halfway through my week, I realized I worked too hard on an assignment with a far off due date. I realized I didn’t need to work myself to the bone as long as I kept a good balance. I planned out everything more efficiently and took a breather to enjoy the sunshine, the beach and the company of my friends. Out of everything on the list, many overlook this one entirely. That’s why I decided to reroute my focus on enjoying my spring break.