What are you doing during the Christmas break

Just don't learn: What you can do for your studies during the Christmas break

by Tim Reichel

Woohoo, Christmas vacation!

Finally a few days without lectures and all the stress at university. Just relax and let the year end in peace. Instead of boring lectures and scripts, there are cookies, family and shitty music. Christmas stop.

However, there is one thing you shouldn't do during your vacation: study.

Yes, you read that right.

Learning is in the Christmas holidays not a good idea. Because you can use your free time much better. If you really want to do something for the university around Christmas and New Year, then please do something meaningful. And that's why I've collected a few suggestions for you in this article.

 

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Learning doesn't work anyway

At the beginning of my studies, I always had a lot planned for Christmas: working through and summarizing the previous lecture slides, reading the two chapters from the book and repeating the last exercise documents.

The full program.

And you know what? That never worked.

Not because I'm lazy, but because I'm simply not receptive and motivated over Christmas. And it's not just me.

During the Christmas holidays we are in year-end mode and just want to enjoy the last few days of 2016. We look back on a tough year and don't want to have anything to do with studies or any exams.

In addition, there are still a few things to do during the Christmas holidays: Buy the last few presents, visit family, eat and drink tons of food, visit friends, celebrate New Year's Eve, etc.

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, it's already hard enough to sit down and concentrate on studying. If there is still no great motivation, effective work is almost impossible. At most, you are wasting time that you could otherwise use much better.

Learning doesn't make sense during the Christmas holidays!

 

Make good use of the Christmas holidays

If you want to do something for your studies in your free time, you should concentrate on organizational and strategic aspects.

Or in other words: deal with how you study and think about how things should go on for you at university.

In my opinion, the Christmas holidays are particularly suitable for this.

But enough theory now. Here are a few examples and suggestions for you:

 

Review the past year

Use the last days of the year to think about the past year.

What were the most important events for you? What went well What went wrong What did you learn?

Create your personal review of the year and try to uncover your strengths and weaknesses. Quite sober and without judgment. Simply create a list with two columns and briefly write down what went particularly well and where you see potential for improvement.

Be completely honest about this and write only for yourself.

This simple recap and summary shows you what you've already achieved and opens up new perspectives for the future.

 

Eliminate chaos

Bring a little more structure and order into your student life during the Christmas holidays.

Here are a few loose sheets of paper, there is a folder and there should also be a bill lying around somewhere: a lot remains lying around over the year and creates a real chaos on our desk. You should counteract that now!

Tidy up your desk, sort your lecture notes and organize your schedule. While you're at it, you can clear out your computer right away and keep your desktop tidy. The same goes for your smartphone.

This way you can start the new year properly.

 

A little study organization doesn't hurt

Plan your studies and think about the important steps you have to take in the next year.

In the stressful everyday life of the university, you often don't have time to look into the future and plan your studies for the long term. It will look different during the Christmas holidays!

That is why you should take advantage of the quiet days and think about your further course of study: Have you already planned your next exam phase? Would you like to do a semester abroad? Do you already know your current examination regulations?

Just ask yourself what you would like to achieve in your studies and come up with a long-term plan.

 

Christmas time is network time

Use the Christmas holidays to expand your network and maintain old relationships.

At Christmas, when it comes to networking, you don't have to limit yourself to visiting family and closest friends. Over the holidays, you can inconspicuously maintain your contacts with a small Christmas greeting by card or email and bring them back to life in a positive way.

A little tip: If you then expand your mailing list a little or post a general "Happy Christmas" in the university group chat, you might even expand your network and meet new people.

The more personal the greeting, the better. But you definitely make other people happy with a simple message.

 

To broaden the horizon

Read a new book during the Christmas holidays, click your way through a blog and broaden your horizons.

It makes little sense if you deal with content from your studies during the Christmas season, but during this time you can think outside the box and broaden your horizons.

It doesn't really matter whether you're reading a novel, a non-fiction book or the biography of Krusty the Clown. The main thing is that you are busy with something new.

This will not only improve your general knowledge, but you may also find a new perspective that can be useful to you later.

 

Implement new habits

Develop a new habit over the Christmas break that will make your life better.

While your semester is going on like this, it's almost impossible to change old habits. Especially when you rush from lecture to lecture and have to meet a lot of deadlines.

It's different in the Christmas holidays! During this time you have the opportunity to train yourself one or two new habits without having to consider a tight daily routine.

For example, you can go to bed earlier, exercise, or drink more water. Depending on where your priorities lie, you have a good opportunity to change established patterns and implement new habits during the holidays.

In this article, I've shown you a simple trick that you can use to get started very easily.

 

Make smart resolutions for the New Year

Set yourself smart goals for the new year.

If you want to start the new year successfully and focused, you need a strategy. And the basis of every strategy are goals.

Therefore, during the Christmas holidays, determine what you want to achieve in the next year at the university and also privately. It is important that you formulate your resolutions precisely and put them in writing. The preliminary work from point 1 can help you with this.

In this article, I have shown you how you can define your goals in a meaningful way.

 

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Conclusion

The Christmas holidays are not for studying.

Use the holidays to recharge your batteries and to gain a little distance from your everyday life. Concentrated learning is not possible during this time anyway.

But if you take a step back and think about your situation during your studies, you can achieve the most. Because then you can succeed in sustainably improving your student life and lift your success at the university to the next level.

And with that you are giving yourself the greatest Christmas present.

 

Image: © Viktor Hanacek / picjumbo.com