By: Ahona Salsabil

It’s hard to believe how fast the first semester has gone by, as winter break is fast approaching. With all the free time available, it’s tempting to curl up under the covers and hibernate until next semester. While it’s perfectly acceptable to take time to unwind after the first half of the school year, enjoy the company of family, and catch up with friends, you can do all that and be productive at the same time. Here are some ways Bearcats can stay productive during winter break to stay active, focused, and mentally ready for the next semester:

1. Analyze your performance last semester and make adjustments for the next

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Take time to reflect on last semester as a whole. Consider your academic life, social life, health, and so on. What worked for you? What didn’t?

Make a goal to eliminate any bad habits. While staying up late to watch Netflix or binge watching that favorite TV show may have felt gratifying at the moment, maybe it didn’t help your health too much. Next semester, resolve to bring some discipline into your life and stick to a strict sleep schedule. Sufficient sleep = function better in school = good grades. It’s a win-win!

2. Hit the gym

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It’s tough to squeeze in work-out time when you’re busy with tests and presentations. Without class, there’s no excuse to skip out on those workouts! Take advantage of the break to get healthy and stay in shape for next semester. Don’t have a gym nearby? Check out some YouTube videos such as Blogilates for some effective exercises that you can do at home! Think of it as getting way ahead of swimsuit season.

3. Do your ‘Winter Cleaning’

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Studies show that clutter greatly affects your stress levels and can even make you less productive. It’s not quite spring, but you could still benefit from an end-of-semester clean up. Clearing clutter will help you stay organized next semester.

4. Get organized

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Whip out that calendar (or in many cases, that calendar app), and mark down all the important dates for next semester: exams, presentations, due dates for IAs and EEs, and whatever else needs to be on there.

You can rewrite those notes that you didn’t get the time to last semester, or maybe even get ahead of future work and read the textbook for fun.

5. Study for the ACT/SATs

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For most juniors and a handful of seniors, with most of their time occupied with assessments, it may be difficult to schedule in time to study for upcoming standardized tests. Well, winter break is the time to catch up on studying.

Get up and stay active! There are myriad productive activities that will make you feel good about yourself and the prospect of a brand new year. By staying productive, you’ll enjoy the break to the fullest and come back to school well-prepared.

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