Published on 18th December 2018 by Maria Correa

Christmas break

The end of a long 6 weeks has arrived for most of us. Deadlines are in and class is over, but it’s important to recognise how to make the most of the break. The holidays serve as a time for rest but also an opportunity catch up on academic work and make sure we’re well prepped for the coming year.

Below, I share my top tips for letting your Christmas revision go to waste. Read on to see how you have a refreshing and productive holiday.

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1. Planning

Whether you’re in school or university, as students we generally have 2-3 weeks to organise ourselves in the break after a busy first term. I like to sit down and write how many days I have before term starts, the number of lectures/ classes I have to cover and what I want to fit in fun-wise.

In terms of scheduling your time-table and selecting topics to cover, I would advise you to make it simple and general. Keep in mind that circumstances can sometimes mean that you can’t stick to a schedule, so don’t let this get you down. You can adjust this somewhat as you go along, but you should have a general idea of topics to focus on.

Taking a revision break? Read 5 Favourite Fictional Medics

2. Mix it up

Within your timetable, you shouldn’t be planning to study one subject area for the whole day. Learning about the kidney for a full day becomes boring and you’ll find yourself taking less information in. I used to always work this way until a few teachers pointed out its efficiency.

Personally, I like to cover at least 3 topics a day – that way I have 2-3 hours of focused and productive time covering an area. As a medical student, there will be days when I spend mornings covering Metabolic pathways, work on a reflective essay after lunch and spend the evening watching videos on human anatomy.

I really recommend this method – it also allows you to spend less concentrated time on a boring subject area!

Want more revision tips? Read What Every Aspiring Medic Should Do Over The Christmas Break

3. Give yourself rest

Ultimately, this break has been scheduled into our academic timetables for a reason! Contrary to belief, you can do something fun every day of the break. Going out with friends, exercising or watching a movie are great ways to break up revision and keep your mind sane whilst you’re covering large volumes of content. Your brain isn’t effective when you’re tired or burnt out so look after yourself to make sure the times you’re sitting at that desk, are times when you’re taking things in.

See Top 6 Medical TV Shows To Watch Over Christmas

4. Reflect on your first term

Reflection is key to finding out what works and what doesn’t for your productivity and ability to stay motivated. Writing things down is always a more concrete way of setting ideas in stone, so pick up a diary and note down the negative effects some activities had on your grades or general mood to handle them better next time round.

Don’t let yourself fall into a lazy slumber this break but be productive! This means balancing your revision and recreation to make the most of your time.

Good luck and most importantly, Merry Christmas!

Words: Laura Amarin

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