Five Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Mid-Semester Break

productivity tips

The mid-semester break is a great time to get organised and ahead of your studies in a relaxed environment. But, it’s also a good opportunity to recharge your batteries and have a bit of fun. Here are five ways to make the most out of your mid-semester break.

Catch up on your readings

When you’re swamped with assessments, it’s easy to skip your readings. The mid-semester break is the perfect time to catch up on any readings you missed during the first half of the semester and review the ones you’ve already read. To get through your readings efficiently, you may want to try out some efficiency techniques. Here are a few easy tricks that might help:

  • Taking notes can help you memorise the material. As you go through each text, write down separate notes that reinterpret what you’ve read into your own words. Make sure you write them by hand though – it’s been proven that handwriting your notes is better for retaining information than typing them.
  • Before delving into your readings, skim the pages to get a general idea of what the text is about. This way, when you read it in depth, you’ll already have a framework of key points that help you better understand the topic.
  • To read a little faster, there are plenty of speed-reading techniques available. An easy one to use is the keyword technique. While you’re reading, don’t focus too much on reading every word. Look for important keywords and omit words like ‘the’, ‘and’, and ‘of’, and you’ll be finished in no time.

Review your material

Use the time during your mid-semester break to review the material you’ve already learned. This way, you can be prepared for upcoming tests and assignments. If you’re finding it hard to study in the holidays, try out some different study hacks:

  • In order to memorise your material, quickly review past information before each study session so it sticks in your brain. For example, if you reviewed a particular legal case in your last session, have a quick read over your notes before jumping into the next case.
  • The best way to know if you’ve learned a topic is to teach it to someone else, so grab a friend and pretend they’re your student. Explain terminology and ideas as if they’ve never heard them before, and get them to ask you questions to test your knowledge.
  • If you keep getting stuck on the same topic, try switching up your study methods. You might want to use flashcards, diagrams, or even a mock quiz to test your knowledge.
  • If you like to study on the go, try using a study app like Quizlet, which is a collection of flashcards and games across a range of subjects, or Memrise, which offers courses in everything from languages and literature, to maths and science.

Prepare for exams

Although it may seem like exams are a while away, they’re closer than you think. Doing some early exam preparation during the mid-semester break means you’ll already be ahead on study later in the semester. This will allow you to take things at a much more even pace when you’re studying right before exams. Here are some tips:

  • Make your study sessions efficient by getting rid of distractions, especially on your phone or computer. Instead of putting your phone on silent, put it on airplane mode or in another room.
  • It’s a good idea to set goals for your study session, instead of mindlessly studying for hours without any purpose. Write down the exact concepts you want to revise and think about where you want your knowledge to be when you finish. For example, you might want to have every element in the periodic table memorised.
  • If it helps, you may even want to study with a friend. Bouncing ideas off each other and asking questions can help you understand and memorise difficult concepts.

Organise your equipment

During the semester, things can get hectic and your notes and files can quickly become cluttered. Keeping your notes and workspace organised and tidy is important, as it helps save time and reduces stress. Having everything in an easy-to-reach place ensures you’re not wasting time finding something or trying to get organised and there isn’t any mess to distract you. Spend some time during the break tidying and filing your documents, especially assessment outlines, unit schedules, important readings, and your own notes.

Take some time for yourself

It can be difficult to be productive when you’re feeling stressed or burned out. Make sure to check in on your physical and mental health to ensure you’re on top of your game.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take some time for yourself on your mid-semester break. Reward yourself for studying so hard by relaxing with friends, or enjoying activities you may not have had time for during the semester. Get out and about in your city or spend some quality time at home. You may even want to go travelling if you have the time – there are some great spots all around Australia that are perfect for a one-week getaway. Giving yourself a break allows you to feel calmer and more refreshed, ready for the semester ahead.