Whooo! Happy Holidays! Farewell to your alarm and bring on the days of catching up on Netflix shows and seeing your friends. Holidays are a great opportunity to relax, give yourself a chance to refresh, and reset for the rest of the school year.
Unfortunately, as you get towards senior school, holidays are more and more often followed by important exams or tests. The most obvious example of this is throughout year twelve. Your final year of high school often ends up being structured sometime like this: intense busy term 1, holidays, half yearly exams, intense busy term 2, holidays, trials, intense busy term 3, holidays and HSC.
This pattern of exam periods just before holiday periods start means that you can't completely check out in your holiday period. No one wants to go back to assessments having forgotten how to turn their calculator on, or what topic they are studying.
But does that mean we have to give up on holidays completely? Should we keep the same hours as if we were still going to class everyday? Is it true that once you are in senior school, you don't have holidays?
No. It's possible (and necessary!) to rest during holidays. But how can you do that without completely switching off?
1. Prepare during term time
Don't leave everything until your holiday time! Do your best to write notes and prepare for assessment tasks during term time. Ask your teacher questions about what you will need to know in a test and what the best way to prepare is. Get organised! Know what exams you have next term and what you need to do in order to be ready for them!
Do not just leave everything for later, with the promise that "I'll get to it in the holidays".
2. Rest the first weekend (and one day a week after that!)
And don't feel guilty about it! Holidays are a chance to relax, calm down and get some perspective outside of the craziness of school. Don't be afraid to let yourself take a breath, sleep in and do the things you enjoy. Find what helps you relax (whether its yoga, playing computer games or going to the movies with your friends!) and don't be scared to get around it!
Give yourself a few days after school ends that are scheduled as rest days, and try and give yourself a day a week after that as well. Trust me, your marks will thank you for taking some time for self care, and it will allow you come back to study with a better attitude and more ability.
3. Set Realistic Goals
Have a clear idea about what you need to achieve and how long you should spend doing it. Maybe in the holidays your aim is to study four hours a day, and let yourself rest for the rest of the day! Maybe you want to do a full day of study, and then take a day off! Set a goal which you can manage and that will let you get some rest as well as prepare for your exams.
Have a schedule for your days which involves studying, but also zoning out and seeing your family and friends. Moderation is the key to success at this point.
4. Seek help
Whether its your friends, a tutor or just finding a space to study, don't be afraid to rely on other people and things to give your holidays structure. A study buddy can be a great way to socialise as well as prepare for upcoming exams. Tutoring places often have practice exam sessions you can go to, or you can continue going to your regular classes throughout the holiday period! Even if you ask your Mum to help you start studying at 11am every morning, a good level of accountability could make all the difference.
Ultimately, it's important to remember that resting is a good, healthy thing, which is ultimately going to result in better exam results and experiences. Don't be scared to stop and take a rest - it's what will help you have the energy to prepare for your exams!