College Success

Thanksgiving Break and Finals Preparation: A Balancing Act

It’s been a long semester, and all you can think about is turkey, pumpkin pie, family time, and… final exams?! Unfortunately, Thanksgiving always tends to fall right around finals. While your mind is focused on the much-deserved break and feast that lies before you, final exams remain looming in the distance.

So the million-dollar question becomes: how do you balance relaxation and family time alongside studying?

Take a Break

First, remember that Thanksgiving Break is just that, a break. Don’t put so much pressure on studying that you forget to take a breather and enjoy your time off. Make time for yourself and for your loved ones, catch up on your sleep, and relax.

Regrettably, you can’t be on a “mental vacation” throughout your entire break. Since studying is a necessary evil so to speak, it’s a good idea to have a game plan going in. Decide how much time you want to spend studying over break and then map out a way to get it all done effectively and efficiently.

Make a Plan

Maybe it’s easier for you to focus and get work done early in the day, before everyone else is up and going. Or maybe it’s better for you to spend your evenings tucked away with your notes and textbooks, after you’ve had time to visit with everyone. Figure out what time works best for you, come up with a tentative schedule, and make yourself stick to it.

Prioritizing will be one of the most important aspects of balancing studying over Thanksgiving Break. Given the short length of the break, it will be tough to study for every subject completely. Understand which exams are either the most important or the most difficult for you, and make sure that they get some much-needed attention.

Part of your study schedule should include what you’re studying and how you’re going to study it. Do you have an accounting exam coming up that you’re less-than-prepared for? Maybe plan to spend one day reviewing the textbook and the next doing some practice problems. Do you need to brush up on some readings that are getting a little fuzzy with time? Plan to go back and make reading notes to review. Having a good understanding of what and how you’re going to study will help you to make the most of your time.

Spend Time With Your Family

It’s not all about studying when it comes to prioritizing – your loved ones should be a priority as well! Has it been a while since you got to see your best friend from home? Make it a priority to spend time with her/him. Do you have extended family members visiting that you don’t get to see very often? Budget some time to catch up and visit with them. Schoolwork is important, but don’t forget that your loved ones are too.

Like a lot of things in life, managing your schoolwork and free time over Thanksgiving Break can be a bit of a balancing act. So long as you go in with a tentative game plan and remember to prioritize, you’ll be able to study effectively while still having time for a second round of pumpkin pie.

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