The holidays can be a stressful – and wonderful – time of the year. Whether you’re having family from out of town in your home, or you’re traveling yourself, it can take a lot of planning. (And that doesn’t even include cooking time.) If you’re preparing for the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™, you might feel like you don’t have time for it all. To help you balance everything, take these study tips for making your holiday more productive:
As the instructors at Western Governors University suggest, one of the best tips for making your holiday productive is to make a detailed schedule. This schedule should not only make time for studying, but should also make time for your Thanksgiving activities. We suggest using either a day planner, or a digital calendar like iCal or Google Calendar. Both forms provide you with a format to break a single day into blocks of time. In this way, you can map out a two-hour block of time to study before you have to help with Thanksgiving dinner or an hour review session before the football game. This might mean that you have to get up a little earlier than usual to study in the morning; or it could mean that you can’t do all of the holiday activities this year. But as the instructors emphasize, “The ones you do partake in can be enjoyed guilt-free, knowing that your studies are still on track.”
2. Prepare Your Family
South University instructors recommend setting ground rules: “tell your family about the work you need to get done and let them know what you need.” Being honest about how much time you have, and what you think you can contribute to – while also emphasizing how important your high school equivalency is – can help your family understand why you need to spend a little time studying after dinner, or why you can’t play pick-up football like you usually do. Sometimes it’s difficult to prepare your family for a change in a family tradition. Taking this time to explain will not only give your family members the opportunity to encourage and help you in whatever way they can. It will also prevent any interruptions to your schedule that get you off track.
3. Don’t Skimp on Sleep
If you’re a Black Friday shopper, this tip can be especially difficult. However, one of the best things you can do is get enough sleep over the holidays. If you can, keep your schedule as close to normal as possible. This will help you stay on top of your studies and transition easily back into your work or school schedule after the Thanksgiving holiday is over. According to the College Planning Group, part of maintaining your usual schedule should also be eating healthy. Your diet can significantly impact your sleeping cycle; for example, if you eat too much turkey on Thanksgiving and spend most of the afternoon napping, you might have trouble getting to sleep later that night. Thatthrows off your sleep cycle – and your study schedule. So even though it can be a struggle with family in from out of town and midnight shopping to do, “find ways to eat healthy and get sleep when you can.”
4. Take Time to Enjoy
Kelsey Sheehy of US News writes, “Don’t pretend like this is any other time of year.” The most important study tip for the holidays is to actually enjoy the holidays. Thanksgiving is a wonderful celebration, and you should feel as though you have time to give thanks with your family and friends. If there are traditions you look forward to all year-round, those should be non-negotiable when you sit down to make your schedule. Or if you can’t bring yourself to study on Thanksgiving, be sure you manage the Wednesday before and the Friday after. Remind yourself that this is a celebration of thanks and generosity. Use the excitement of the holiday to stay motivated and focused. Happy Thanksgiving! - The TASC Test Team