A woman in a blue office dress and sunhat, balancing snorkelling gear and a beach towel with a study guide. Set against a yellow background with doodles of studies, holidays and celebrations.

Juggling Tinsel with Textbooks

As the season of celebration approaches, college students face the challenge of balancing studies during the holidays with the desire to embrace the holiday spirit fully. A well-organised schedule or study plan is essential for a harmonious holiday season. Instead of only wishing and hoping you will have time for your studies, you can create a schedule incorporating academic commitments and festive celebrations. This blog will provide practical tips to create a schedule or study plan for the December holiday.

Tip 1: Make a list of your studies and holiday plans

You may already have holiday plans, such as attending a Christmas party, visiting a night market, doing festive shopping, or catching up with loved ones. List everything you want to do and plan your studies around it. If possible, try to balance your study time and free time. For example, avoid cramming all the fun, festive activities into one week and studying the next, as you might feel demotivated if you must study while others are enjoying their holidays.

Tip 2: Break down your holiday season tasks

Breaking down large tasks into smaller pieces will make them more manageable, which will help you to feel less overwhelmed. Instead of studying a whole module or doing an entire assignment in one day, you can break it into sections. For example, if you need to do a Summative Assignment, you can do Section A on one day, Section B on another, etc.

Tip 3: Maintain a flexible balancing act

A figure of a person juggling several blocks. The image is presented in a vibrant, exciting watercolour style.

A schedule or study plan can help you plan your holiday, but everything might not go according to plan. For example, family or friends can arrive unannounced on the day you plan to study. It is essential to be flexible with your study schedule to consider such changes so you stay calm and relaxed.

Tip 4: Prioritise study tasks and holiday celebrations

To help you accommodate unforeseen changes, it is recommended that you prioritise your tasks based on their urgency and amount of work. For example, suppose you have a Summative resubmission assignment due in January and two Formative assignments due in February. Completing the Summative assignment first will be better since the due date is earlier and will take longer. If something happens and you fall behind with your schedule, it will be easier to catch up and do the formative assignments later. Effective prioritisation helps you avoid last-minute stress and allows for a smooth transition between focused study sessions and joyous holiday events.

Tip 5: Set realistic expectations

Setting realistic expectations and recognising that compromises may be necessary to balance celebration and college commitments is crucial. It is essential to communicate your priorities with friends and family so that they can understand these compromises and hopefully support you. You need to be realistic about how much time you will have for your studies. It is usually always better to overestimate than underestimate the time required to complete specific tasks to ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed later. A digital calendar can be a great tool because you can change your schedule or study plan as you go along.

Bonus Tip: Reflect and Rejuvenate during the holidays

It’s important to take the time to review not just your academic achievements but also your overall well-being. Think about how the December holidays may affect your mental and physical health. Taking a well-deserved break, filled with activities that uplift your spirit, can significantly contribute to better focus and productivity when you return to your studies. So, use this time to relax, recharge, and focus on your well-being, knowing it will positively impact your academic performance in the long run.

Remember: There is harmony in balance

As a college student, achieving holiday harmony requires more than good time management skills. It involves careful planning, flexibility, and a positive attitude. By strategically prioritising your tasks, managing your time effectively, and incorporating the holiday spirit into your academic routine, you can enjoy the festivities and improve your overall well-being. Remember, harmony is not about being perfect but finding a balance between your academic, personal, and emotional growth.

Sources of Inspiration:

Ali. J. (2021, November 23). During the Holidays: School-Life Balance. American College of Education. https://ace.edu/blog/how-to-balance-work-school-and-life-during-the-holidays/

Circuit. P. (2023, November 29). How to balance study and life during the holidays. The Complete University Guide. https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/student-advice/before-you-start/how-to-balance-study-and-life-during-holidays#:~:text=Create%20a%20study%20plan,you’re%20not%20at%20school.

McCarthy, C. (2022, February 7). 8 steps to creating your perfect study plan. The University of Adelaide. https://college.adelaide.edu.au/blog/8-steps-to-creating-your-perfect-study-plan/

Murdoch University. (2023, October 3). Ten tips to balance study, work, and family life. https://www.murdoch.edu.au/news/articles/tips-to-balance-study-work-and-family-life

School of Commerce and Management. (2023, June 12). Discovering Harmony: Balancing Academics, Personal Growth, and Well-being in College. Lingaya’s Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University). https://www.lingayasvidyapeeth.edu.in/discovering-harmony-balancing-academics-personal-growth-and-well-being-in-college/

University of Plymouth Students’ Union. (2023, November 29). Balancing revision with enjoying some relaxation during the festive break. https://www.upsu.com/news/article/upsu/Balancing-revision-with-enjoying-some-relaxation-during-the-festive-break/

In article images credit: Images were created with an AI image generator using various and specific prompts to direct the final product in combination with other images and photos.

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