To motivate myself to study during the exam period, I would think about mid-year break. My daydreams usually involved a lot of sunshine and laughing and the sort of carefreeness one would normally associate with Disney princesses when they skip around and sing.
But three days into the mid-year break, with exams blissfully over and free time so abundant I could practically see it springing around in the form of dancing rainbows, I was stuck in serious study mode. This time, I was cramming for LAW1103: Making the Most of Holidays.
Whenever I decided to do something, my mind would transform that harmless activity into a GOAL that had to be ACHIEVED because ACHIEVING THINGS MAKES LIFE WORTHWHILE.
“I have all this free time! Maybe I’ll have a go at all those writing ideas I’ve been meaning to get to!” became “I WILL FINISH THAT FAUX-HARRY POTTER FANTASY NOVEL IN SEVEN WEEKS.”
“I’ll use the holidays to get fit!” became “I WILL DO BIKRAM YOGA AND SWEAT UNTIL I BECOME THE FLEXIBLE PRETZEL I USED TO BE. OH, AND RUN A HALF MARATHON BY THE END OF JULY.”
“I’ll go out with my friends!” became “I will go out with my friends TO EVERY BAR IN MELBOURNE BECAUSE THAT WAY I WILL FEEL AS THOUGH I HAVE ACHIEVED SOMETHING.”
After two weeks of frenzied efforts to make the most of every moment, I sat in my GP’s office sporting a cold and conjunctivitis. To top it all off, my doctor informed me that I also had inflamed sinuses, which was probably a result of blowing my nose way too hard. Apparently my overenthusiasm even extends to nose blowing.
While some students find it easy to finish writing the last sentence of their last exams and swan dive straight into a big pool of relaxation, for others switching out of study mode can be difficult.
It’s particularly hard when Facebook is flooded with photos of exotic holidays and details of work experience and internships. Competitiveness doesn’t stop at exams: everyone seems to be in an endless race to see who can notch up as many awesome experiences as possible during their break.
Or at least, that’s how it appeared to me while I was still desperately clinging to my goal-setting-progress-making-exam-period-robot mind. I figured it was high time to let it go.
The question was how.
An instant cure came in the form of a weeklong holiday to a tropical island with my friend, no Internet and lots of pretty fish.
But I understand that pretty fish aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and booking a holiday is quite a drastic solution. Never fear! Behold! A list of suggestions for those who need to switch off their default cramming mode and slip into something more comfortable.
The Internet is great, but if you’ve been spending the entirety of your holidays on it you may benefit from a break. t’s liberating. Suddenly you don’t know what Chrissy from Year 5 has been up to on Facebook, and what’s more, you don’t care.
This also works for the inbox-addicts. If your smart phone is practically glued to your hand, consider leaving it at home for a few hours.
If you’re taking on additional hours at work because of your free time, great! Just make sure you don’t over do it. Give yourself some time off. You deserve it. Really.
Cooking/art/music/creativity in general
So much of studying law is reading and writing, so it makes sense that there’s something refreshing and relaxing about making something that isn’t an argument. Cupcakes, sketching, learning the ukulele: get around to it.
Go for a walk
Walks are awesome. You can go to nice places and you won’t even realise you’re exercising. Bring music and it’s like a (calm) party inside your mind.
Have it. Do that thing that you’ve been wanting to do. You know it. Go on that road trip. Go to that pole dancing class. Knit that scarf and don’t care what anyone else says about it.
It’s your break, enjoy it!
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