Oct 11, 2019
It's that time of the year when you can blow off steam, catch up with friends or go back home and spend time with your family. More often than not, students take this time to travel to new places and have a good time with friends. However, spring break is also an excellent opportunity to catch up with overdue work, to start the exercising you've been putting off this semester, and to prepare for the upcoming exam season.
Throughout your university career, you will have to learn to manage your time most efficiently to not let your deadlines stack up and overwhelm you. Keep in mind that professors like to give work over the breaks, which will usually comprise of essays, presentations or even tests. It would be wise not to leave all your work to the last-minute thinking that you'll have enough time to do it over the break. If you manage your time, you will stay on top of work and also have more free time to do the things you enjoy best.
Using an Itinerary
If you plan ahead and allocate a specific time to do work, you can use the rest of your time to keep up with friends or blow off some steam. The best advice I can give you is seeing how much work you have to do or catch up on and determine a reasonable amount of time it would take to complete each individual task. Take out your calendar and see which days you are going to be free and which days you plan to see your family and friends. Divide your time accordingly, helping you to maximise the time you have to do work and your free time.
Taking a Break
Besides for doing work, spring break is a break for a reason. If you stayed home working all the time, you would tire yourself out and not produce any high-quality coursework. I think it is vitally important you reserve some space to do the things you love to do. Take some time to go hiking, play bowling with your friends or spend time with your family. Take the necessary steps to ensure that you are relaxing when you need to. If not, the stress build-up will be very counter-productive when you return to university after having worked non-stop.
Exercise is Important
During the holidays we usually tend to take it easy on our exercise schedule and stop following it so rigorously. I would advise you to keep your exercise as regular as possible or to try new activities/sports you have always wanted to do. This can be a fun and exciting new way to make the best out the free time that you have, and possibly learn a few new skills to bring back to your exercise routine. Try a new sport like football, basketball or tennis, instead of going to the gym. Regular exercise is also incredibly important for your mental health, as it can help lower your stress levels and live a healthier lifestyle.
If you wish to expand your skillset or add new headings on your CV, then spring break is a great time to do some extra-curricular activities. I would advise doing prior research before you choose where to go. An internship for a company, a workshop, or some volunteering are all great options to make you stand out from the crowd. Employers are always looking for achievements and experiences which you did in your own free time on top of university grades. You should think of ways to further your career during university, which will be incredibly beneficial once you graduate and start looking for a job.
Spring break can be a great time to relax and have fun, but also this time can be used very wisely and be invested into improving your CV and catching up on work, whilst still maintaining a healthy exercise schedule. Sometimes university can become overwhelming with presentations, essays, projects and deadlines, so it's also equally as important to take some time off and have fun with your friends and family. Remember to keep yourself organised, and you'll be feeling recharged and ready to take on the rest of the semester.
David Rosales is an alumnus of St. Stephen's School, Rome, Italy. He graduated in 2019 with a BSc Hons in Biotechnology from the University of Manchester.