Ahhh, Thanksgiving is almost here. It’s the first long break of the semester, and for many, it will be the first time going back home since summer vacation. Even if you’re sticking around DC for the break, it’s the first time all semester that you have a sufficient amount of days off in a row, which will allow for lots of sleep, eating your way into a food coma with a home-cooked meal instead of TDR, and yes – possibly letting school work fall to the wayside.
It can be hard to keep up on your schoolwork when you’re hanging out with your family and eating as much stuffing as humanly possible without bursting at the seams. This is a very important holiday, and an important opportunity to take the time to relax. But with finals right around the corner, it’s also important not to put all your homework off until Sunday night on your plane back to DC.
Know your schedule for the week.
If you’re going to multiple Thanksgiving dinners (helloooo stuffing), then it can be hard to try to fit things in when you just happen to stumble across some time in your week. Make sure you know your plan for the week so that you can schedule your time accordingly.
I know probably the last thing that you want to do over your Thanksgiving break is organize yourself by making a step-by-step plan for how your week is going to go, but this an important part of staying organized. You certainly don’t want the end of your break to roll around only to find yourself with no time to do anything that’s due for the last week of classes.
Don’t put too much on your plate at once.
It’s super important to manage your time effectively when you’re trying to balance both work and holiday family time.
Organize everything out in your planner, on a piece of paper, in your calendar – whatever works for you. Just make sure that you’re allotting enough time for family and enough time for getting work done. It might be a good idea to block off times when you know you’ll be alone to dedicate to school work, or maybe take some of your textbooks to Gram’s. Your family members aren’t going to be upset with you because you have to get work done – they’ll understand that you’re a college student with priorities.
Utilize travel time to catch up on some reading.
A long plane ride all the way to the other side of the country is an awesome time to catch up on reading for your classes. There’s no one to distract you and you’re literally stuck inside the plane for however many hours with practically nothing to do. Using that time to get some work done is a great way to keep your school work from interfering too much with any plans you might have over break.
Avoid stressing yourself out.
While you might find that it’s hard to get things done when you’re at home and there’s a comfy bed (your own) calling your name, don’t stress out about not getting anything done. What’s most important is to make sure that you’re managing your time effectively and getting things done over the course of the week. And of course, taking the time to relax.
Saving everything for the last minute might stress you out when you realize that all it conveniently worked out that all of your professors scheduled papers due on the same Monday coming back from break. Avoid this by spreading things out over the course of the week, getting one thing done at a time. You might find it helpful to dedicate one day to each subject, that way your mind is organized along with your school work and you’re not jumping back and forth between calculus and literature and art history.
Make sure to schedule in some time for relaxation, too. Whether your way of relaxing is taking a warm bath, reading alone in your room, or napping for hours on end, this is a great time to get that in right before finals hit!
And most importantly, have a good holiday!
The CAS Peer Advisors wish you the best for your Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a stressful time of year – between registration winding down and finals rapidly approaching – so make sure that you’re taking time to relax and enjoy all that amazing food for your Thanksgiving dinner.
And don’t forget – we are forever thankful for all the amazing opportunities we get to connect with students at AU! Make sure to tell us what you’re thankful for in the comments below.