How To Spend Your Easter Break | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

How To Spend Your Easter Break

Katie McDonald explains how you can make the most of your Easter break

revising in the Easter holidays is difficult because it is the last thing any sane student wants to be doing
I can’t count how many blogs or newspaper articles I have seen that lecture students on 'how to get the best out of your Easter holidays'. 10 top tips on how to dedicate 'every precious moment to revision'? I’m willing to bet that 9 out of 10 students exit said article with more weight on their shoulders than when they began reading. This is exactly why I’ll be taking this article realistically. That’s not to say I’m going to say 'realistically, let’s face it, you won’t do any revision in the first 3 weeks and then you’ll go into panic mode and make 50 cue cards faster than you can say "I do actually need to pass", and you know it'. What I can promise though is a positive, realistic outlook on your allocated holiday time.

First thing’s first, make a dreaded revision timetable. Allocate the time you have for different modules and then leave some ‘you-time’. Heck, colour code it if you feel that way inclined. That’s what they all say. But revising in the Easter holidays is difficult because it is the last thing any sane student wants to be doing. We’ve got through the last eight months, or so, so now surely it’s time for two weeks of relaxation, family and chocolate, right? I hate to break it to you, but once your pretty timetable is finished, it doesn’t mean you are. The hard part is actually sticking to it, which is why those purple ‘yoga’ or ‘out with m8s’ slots are actually just as important as the red ‘first exam’.

Another recommendation everyone seems very keen to make is to exercise, which we take as a mixture of obvious, patronising and, ironically, stressful. We’ve been given 4 weeks to indulge in delicacies, why would we want to ‘make time for those spin classes’? Educational institutions dedicate a month where unwritten, or not so unwritten when it is already pre-written into our planners, social norms instruct us to focus on munching Cadbury crème eggs with our family.

Prioritisation is the key to success, or at least a First or 2:1
As ‘eggs-traordinary’ as this is, this is perfectly acceptable. Worry not, it is indeed encouraged, that is with the right amount of balanced study around this consumption. Dark chocolate, let me tell you, is scientifically proven to boost your concentration levels. So eat your greens that your mom will lovingly and inevitably plate up for you and blast through the few hours of revision you could muster up the motivation for today.

It’s so easy, and I’m guilty of this, to forget to drink water. The important message of hydration is shoved down our throats, but only because it is so true. You can’t escape the fact that you simply can’t work on a dry, dehydrated brain. It’s unproductive and, more importantly, unhealthy. Make it fun, or as fun as drinking water can be, by setting yourself little challenges. All you need is a large bottle of water and pen. Mark appropriate levels on the bottle with ‘11am’, ‘2pm’, ‘5pm’ and refill when necessary. Await your rehydration, soon to be followed by great results.

The newspapers still encourage us, with the best intentions, to get out in the open air. Again, they are kind of right, to an extent. I could count on one hand the number of students who are rich enough to afford weekly spin classes, but that’s a bad excuse. So, message the group chat and suggest a park picnic, where you can eat ham sandwiches, pick on strawberries and let the fresh spring breeze relieve you from the stresses of third year life for an afternoon or so.

You can’t escape the fact that you simply can’t work on a dry, dehydrated brain. It’s unproductive and, more importantly, unhealthy
Group study is painful, annoying and boring, if you get the wrong people. So, gather some of your best course friends, or even non-course because you can still motivate each other, and set yourself days, mornings or afternoons to meet, study and motivate. Save the gossiping for later and smash those daily goals.

Prioritisation is the key to success, or at least a First or 2:1. As tempting as it is, don’t do the easy tasks first. Ask yourself which is urgent or which is just important, tackle the urgent ones first and you’ll soon be pleasantly surprised when you watch your motivation blossom into a beautiful grade.

Why is it that articles always finish with the ‘don’t stress’ emphasis? They aren’t afraid to fill and overwhelm us with ‘fantastic advice for those fantastic grades’, but add that stress we should not. But you can’t obtain a beautiful grade without the hard work. Reward yourself, which I’m pleased to say involves acknowledging how far you have come as well as what you need to do. So happy Easter. Indulge in the delicacies, make the most of that family time and do your best to work hard in those red revision slots.

Anthropology and African Studies UoB student. Blogger of all things fitness and more. Running enthusiast. (@lifeofamissfit)



Published

14th April 2017 at 10:00 am

Last Updated

13th April 2017 at 7:59 pm



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