8 Holiday Study Tips

'Tis the season for family, friends, parties, shopping, decorating, wrapping gifts, finishing up the calendar year at work, taking kids to see the lights and go ice skating and see Santa and ... If you're exhausted just reading all that, you may not have even noticed one critically important task missing from that to-do list: schoolwork.

Many students—especially busy working adult students—can be overwhelmed by the challenge of maintaining the momentum toward their degree amidst the holiday hubbub.

Don’t be derailed during the holidays. Just follow these simple tips:

  • Over-prepare! Make a study schedule that accommodates some holiday activities, as well as the coursework you need to get done. This may mean you’ll have to pass on some fun activities, but the ones you do partake in can be enjoyed guilt-free, knowing that your studies are still on track.
  • Get organized if you’re traveling. Gather your learning materials, your laptop or tablet, and your notes, and keep important contact info close at hand.
  • Prepare your family. Ask for their understanding and their assistance as you juggle responsibilities in this busy time.
  • Study early in the morning before family members wake up. You’re able to get a great deal of work done during one of the quietest times of day.
  • Keep your study space sacred. With family visiting or children home from school, the normal boundaries can be blurred. Make sure your study environment remains a place you can get tasks done.
  • Don’t skimp on sleep. Schedules can be disrupted during the holidays, especially with travel and parties, but lack of sleep seriously affects your ability to retain what you’re studying.
  • Take time to enjoy. Go into the season with the expectation that your studies will not progress exactly as they normally do, and make sure you spend fun time with your loved ones.
  • Stay in touch with your mentor. Even if you get behind, don’t avoid your mentor—they’re your biggest advocates, and it’ll be easier for you to ramp up your studies after the holidays if you’re on the same page as them.

Although it can feel like schoolwork is a big imposition during the festive holiday time, successful students know that the ultimate gift—to themselves and their family—is the achievement of a college degree. So keep at it, and happy holidays!

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