The time we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. Term 2 is over and the Easter holidays are here. But with term 3 exams fast approaching, many people feel that these 5 weeks aren’t really a holiday at all as they have to focus on revision all the time. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way! Here’s why taking some time off at Easter might actually make your exam season easier… by Ella Hillyard
Term 2 can be pretty grueling no matter what degree you’re doing, so it’s no surprise if by the end of it you’re feeling pretty burnt out. Your brain has to work so hard during term time, it needs to rest at the end of it. There is no shame in taking time off to recuperate, to get your mental health back on track and make the most of your time. Just like how you wouldn’t expect your body to be able to run a marathon everyday, your brain can’t process that much information effectively every day.
While some people may be able to concentrate and study for 12 hours a day, this habit is only sustainable for a short period of time, until you hit a brick wall and your mental limit kicks in. You are actually at your most productive once you have taken a step back and recharged your brain and body. If you don’t give yourself this time off, you could be worse off during exam season and experiencing symptoms of stress, fatigue and a negative mood – all of which drain focus and physical and emotional resources. After all, working effectively has nothing to do with how many hours you study, but rather the quality of the work you do. Here are some ideas of things you can do in the holidays and how they can benefit you:
Take up a new hobby or continue an existing one
While it might feel contradictory, adding yet another task to your already busy schedule, hobbies are actually a great way to relieve stress. They allow you to focus on a pleasurable task, and give your mind a break from thinking about work all the time. This is better than a more passive activity, such as watching Netflix, as a hobby keeps your mind engaged and stimulated by having to work out new challenges.
Go on a short holiday
At the end of term, it is not uncommon to feel flat and uninspired after having followed the same schedule and work pattern for the last 10 weeks. Even a short weekend away can help you break out of this routine and give you the motivation you need for term 3. Doing new activities while away and meeting new people are all stimulating experiences for your brain, which you will benefit from when you return.
Spend time with family
Spending time with people who love you can be a really rewarding experience. Most students live away from home at university, so quality family time is few and far between during term. Make the most of the opportunity when you go home to spend some time with your friends and family. With this you will realise that there is more to life than just your degree, and you have the comfort of knowing you have these people around to support you when you need it.
Whatever you decide to do during the holidays, make sure you make the most of your free time – your happiness should always come first. Don’t work too hard and good luck with the coming exams in term 3!
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