The first half of the fall semester can be a struggle for some students when it comes to readjusting to a schedule, remembering to study and getting a decent night of sleep.
So, the first few weeks can be difficult to say the least and that frustration and acclimation culminates in a week of midterms.
But following that, you get a span of a few days off, more commonly known as the fall break, and that is perhaps the most critical time of the fall semester.
One could argue that finals week or even the first few days and weeks are more important, but considering this is the time to conduct a lot of self-analysis concerning your academics and more, this takes the top spot for me.
During this break, regardless of whether you go home or stay, go on a mini-vacation or return to work, it’s important to use that time to recharge, both mentally and physically.
For a few days, you don’t have any major responsibilities and you don’t have such a stringent schedule to keep. Instead, the focus centers around you and having some time for yourself.
My best advice: stay active. I’m a big believer that if you rest for too long, you become complacent and lose that inherent drive to stay on your grind and keep going and stay focused. Because for the hour you sit around and watch TV, or take a nap, that’s a time vacuum that could be filled by other things.
So, make that time your opportunity cost, meaning, your best alternative you declined to do so as to complete something else.
Use that time to ride a bike, exercise, visit family, read a book – anything that comes to mind to fill up the time.
Use that time to reconnect with your family, ask how things have been going, visit your grandparents, or try spending some time with siblings of all ages, maybe more so with any college-age siblings, since you’ll most likely have more to talk about.
Another possibility is to use that time to catch up on school work that maybe carries over from the first half of the semester.
Perhaps you have a semester-long project you could work on or a paper that could use some attention. It’s also in the realm of possibility that you have a test after the break, and so the focus should still be there to study and be prepared.
Yet you also have to put that all in perspective. It is a break after all.
Also use that time to catch up on sleep, file away some of the information swirling around in your head, maybe reconnect with high school friends, watch some high school and college football and enjoy it, for soon after, it’ll be back to the grindstone.