Loyola University Maryland

The Study

Balancing the Holidays and Homework

With the holidays and finals just around the corner, you might be feeling a little stressed, wondering how you can make time for both. Here are some tips to help you find balance during this busy time of year:

  1. Identify important dates. Of course, project deadlines and exam days are important dates, but so are household meals and other activities. Write any important dates that you have coming up on a calendar. If you notice any conflicts, try to resolve them as early as you can. For example, if a household lunch is planned during one of your final exams, see if you can have a dinner together instead that day.
  2. Allocate preparation time. Once you know what important dates are ahead of you, it’s easier to set aside time to prepare for them. Try to be generous when planning out time to study for final exams, cook with loved ones, and do other activities. If an activity doesn’t take the full time that you allotted for it, you can spend it on something else.
  3. Share your plans. To help you stick to your schedule, be sure to tell family members, roommates, or others about it. That will not only hold you more accountable to your plans; it will also discourage your loved ones from interfering with them. If another activity or something else does come up, however, you can try to use the extra time that you factored into your schedule to accommodate it.
  4. Have some flexibility. As helpful as plans are, they don’t always work out exactly as we hope—and that’s OK! You can expect the unexpected by having extra time set aside for it, but you should also try to accept the unexpected. Especially as you might be living with family members or others you would not usually stay with during a semester, an unplanned conversation after breakfast or another activity could help strengthen your relationships. And rather than worry about how you’ll make up the study time later, try to enjoy the conversation or activity for what it is and what it means in the moment.