Achieving the balance during mid-sem break

March 29, 2016
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Tired? Stressed? You’ll feel better on mid-sem break. It’s one glorious week of blissful sleep-ins, guilt-free binge-watching, and a whole lot of chocolaty goodness. But, as hella rad as that is, I can guarantee that most of us have some sort of something due in the weeks following the break.

To all the first-years reading this, don’t make the same mistake I did and think you can fit everything social into one week because you really, really can’t. And don’t for a second believe that a weekend is enough time for all things uni, because it most definitely isn’t. Here are some tips to have the best of both worlds during your mid-semester break.

The weekenders

Treat your mid-sem break as an extension of your normal weekend. Relax, grab a drink with friends, go for a Macca’s run, Netflix till the wee hours of the morning – whatever you love doing on a weekend, just do it.

Motivation Monday

Whether it’s catching up on lectures and readings or getting started on an assignment, allocating things to certain days will motivate you to jump on the study bandwagon.

To get the ball rolling:

Study every second day

Allocate study for Monday to Thursday, relax Friday to Sunday, or do the reverse

Morning study sessions, Netflix and Chill night sessions, or do the reverse

You might think allocating tasks is going to do nothing at all, but for those who need structure in their lives, a plan will help you get shit done.

And if you know you’re the least productive person ever but you want to stay on top of things, you’ve got to push yourself to make it happen. Blackmail yourself with food, your phone, bed, bae, dog, or cat – anything that gets the blood pumping.

Work, work, work, work, work, work

Depending on who you are, you might want to increase your hours at work or just stick to a weekly shift. If it’s the first, nine-to-five shifts are the worst thing to combine with study but it’s totally possible to come home, freshen up and dig into an essay and you’ll probably never feel like doing that assignment when you get home. Instead, shower, take a nap and keep it light. Do a reading or re-watch a lecture. Try to fill in gaps or build a foundation for that 2,000-word essay you’ll get around to tomorrow.

Adventure time

For those going off on a little getaway, find the gaps and use them well. If you’re only going away for a few days, then use the time to relax and come home feeling refreshed and reborn, ready to take on anything.

If you’re going for the entire week, try these:

Download your readings and go through them during transit

If there’s free wi-fi, take advantage of it

Tan and study

Write brief plans for an upcoming essay that you can return to when you get back

Transform from Insta tourist during the day to committed student at night

But most importantly…

Relax. Take a breather or a bath, because we all know the worst is ahead of us: winter. So, enjoy the last of the warm weather and mentally prepare yourself for the second half of semester. And if you’re a first-year, get ready to evolve from a baby Charmander straight to a fire-breathing, totally destructive and forever angry-faced Charizard. There is no in-between.

Steffanie Tan

Steffanie is studying a Bachelor of Journalism at Monash University.

Image: uclu photosocFlickr Creative Commons license