By Deji (Student blogger: BSc Marketing)
I don’t have it in me to count how many times I’ve scripted and pledged to some plan of attack that fills the entirety of a holiday with revision and yet, reached the last hours of that holiday having done nothing of the sort. It’s easier than it has the right to be, and happens whenever a university or school term has all but had me concussed.
In battles between me and almighty terms, I’ve had to choose between myself and my grades. Grades have won each time, but the cost has always (eventually) been worth it. Nothing drastic – only the simple sacrifices of sleep and a proper human diet. After “winning” these battles, my MO has been to swear to myself and anyone within earshot, that the next term would be different. You know, that I would allow myself none of the pleasures of holidays. Read, revise, and repeat, so far ahead that when the time came, I could afford to maintain my grades as well as my sanity.
Not sure why, but this hasn’t been the reality. I’d open my lecture notes once or twice during the break, and that would be it. Pride? Procrastination? Perhaps some measure of the two? You decide. Here’s how it goes:
I’ve run myself ragged. I deserve this break. Days pass, and my notes summon me. They do a poor job of it, though. Oh, look – holiday’s over. There’s been no reading, no revising, and certainly no repeating. I use my lack of terrible grades to convince myself that all is well.
A few weeks into the term, I learn that all might not be well. The anxiety is bad, but the guilt is worse. The sabotaged master plan, the great many hours spent on YouTube. Like that, we’re back to a rough Me Vs. Term.
Last session though, it was different. Here’s my take: Forget your promises. Toss them. Into the infinite afar. And beyond, still. Seriously.
Hear me out. You’ve just completed an aggressive term. Probably not in the best space to be making big promises to yourself. Whenever you’re able to appreciate the approaching holiday for what it is (a holiday), plan out your revision. In doing this however, recognise that you’re not trying to fool anyone. You can only promise one day of each week to revise? One week and nothing else? An hour every day? Do that, then. Decide if you can effectively work your revision around your holiday. Might sound counterintuitive, but I figure that this way, no part of you feels cheated out of well-deserved vacation time. If in fact, it isn’t quite well-deserved, try committing to additional time.
In recognising that vacations exist for us to regroup, you don’t fault yourself for enjoying them. In resisting the urge to overwhelm your vacationing mind to the point where it just says ‘No’, you’re much better prepared for the next You Vs. Term. You and your grades can make it out alive, you know?