Struggling between study and a social life this Easter break? Aileen O'Leary tells us how to do both.
It’s the plight of college students these days: we get a few weeks off college and we have to decide if we want to use those weeks to study or socialize. Fortunately, there is a way to do both.
 
Spending weeks with your head in the books is going to have you worn out before exam season even starts, while trying to manage a part time job and an active social life on top of that is even more pressure. But how can we do both? It requires a lot of time management, motivation and a bit of discipline. It isn’t impossible though. With semester two now coming to a close, this is a time for study. However, it is also a time to recover, rest and relax and to be a bit selfish with your time too.
 
Like a lot of students, I am holding down a part time job during college. Being home, I did take on extra shifts at work but I found my own balance between work, play and study. If you can, maybe take the early shift; for me, that means opting to cover the breakfast shift at work, which does require an early start but it means I have time in the afternoon to study or meet up with friends or get some exercise in. To make the most of this downtime, you need to be realistic about what you want to get done; you can’t expect to cover an entire module in a day. If you are going to make plans, make sure you give yourself time to do so, don’t try to overload your schedule. Also, if you are struggling with revising and working, talk to your boss, mention your exams and maybe cut down your shifts to four or five days a week instead.
 
If you are going away this Easter, whether it’s with family or friends, enjoy the escape. Don’t miss out on valuable bonding time by bringing books with you and attempting to study while everyone else is having a good time! Even I am planning a mini escape; I managed to get myself a ticket to Ed Sheeran’s sold out gig in the 3 Arena this Thursday. I’m heading up to Dublin with some of my best friends and to be honest, I can’t wait to just have a break from studying and working. My wardrobe has consisted of black clothing, nametags and sweats for the last two weeks, so any excuse to dress up somewhat is more than welcome.
 
When we come home from the chaos that is college, we forget how much home is where the heart is. Being back in the comforts of decent wifi, food, hot showers and free washing can deter the motivation to study but power through, just think of how relieved you’ll feel once that final exam ends. Use this time wisely, catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while, spend some time with your family. Still, the most important thing is to use this time to your advantage. If you aren’t really grasping a topic, now is the time to do research, looks at past papers, look at the articles and help yourself ace those exams.
 
Some useful advice though: do not leave all your studying to the last minute! The added stress will leave you cranky, tired and in a bad mood throughout the exams which is something nobody wants to see. Take time out but don’t avoid studying all together. The best thing you can do is make a plan. Prioritise your plan based on the order of your exams and if you’ve got a break in between you can use it as study time as well. You don’t have to cover everything in the course but try to be well-prepared for the exams. And don’t forget to eat some chocolate Easter Eggs as a reward for all of your hard work!