The CollegeSurfing Insider: “Big Test – Studying During the Holidays as an Adult Student”

As Thanksgiving approaches, the distractions increase … with thoughts of turkey, shopping, and family time taking you away from studying, writing papers, and finishing end-of-the-semester college projects. With these top tips, you can enjoy your holiday traditions (yum, pumpkin pie!) and finish up the semester strong.

Family get-togethers, holiday shopping, holiday cooking and more are all filling your calendar in Thanksgiving and December. With a bit of planning and preparation, these helpful hints should allow you to enjoy the holiday and keep from having to finish a key assignment or study for a final at the last minute:

Schedule your holidays.
Just like timing the components of a holiday meal, designate days and hours for studying/coursework, holiday commitments, and family time. For example, complete a homework assignment before you head out for Black Friday shopping, so you can enjoy the madness along with other deal seekers. Choose which holiday parties you will attend based upon school deadlines, so that you have enough time to study and have fun, says Richard Shadick, director of the counseling center and an associate adjunct professor of psychology at Pace University in New York.

Set realistic goals.
This may be the year that you hand off certain Thanksgiving dishes or holiday parties to someone else. Adult students often feel like they are unable to give anything their “all,” but if you set reasonable expectations about school, home and work, you will feel less stressed, Shadick says.

Don’t overindulge.
Enjoy that (one) cup of eggnog, as Shadick points out that drinking too much, overeating, or staying up later than normal makes it difficult to study effectively.

Be thankful for help.
If you feel overloaded, consider going to your school’s counseling center to talk to a professional about your holiday and school-related stress.

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