Getting time off from school, college, or university is always exciting, but sometimes a break doesn't necessarily mean you stop working altogether. While it's nice to get time away from classes over the festive period, chances are you'll still need to keep studying to make sure you're totally ready for when the term starts back up again. This is especially true if you have exams waiting for you when you're holidays are finished, so it's important to stay focussed.

Holidays can be a quite distracting time, so it's important to be more organised than usual when it comes to your study habits. We take a look at some of the best ways to keep yourself on track over the holidays, and still leave time for you to relax and have fun!

Make a Study Plan

Pen on notebook

This is a great first step to take whenever you need to plan out some study time, but it's particularly important during a holiday, as you probably have a lot of activities already booked in which you will need to work around. This may be parties, Christmas shopping, or visiting family, but it's important to make the time for these activities to make sure you do have fun on your time off.

Once you have this planned out, you can see exactly how much time you have left, and this will help you decide how best to use. The first thing to look at is work you need to do. If you have any assessments that need handed in after the holidays, then these will obviously be the most important. Also if you have any exams coming up, you'll want to make sure you spend an even amount of time revising for each of these. You'll then be able to assign tasks to any remaining time you have such as assigned reading, writing essay plans for upcoming works, or reading over your lecture notes from the end of the year.

Study on the Go

Hand holding iPhone

When you're making your study plan, you may just consider the time you will be spending at home, but it's also important to consider any travel time as well as this can be a great resource. If you're travelling a long distance on a train, plane, or even getting driven, this can be a great time to squeeze in some extra studying. It's a great use of time where you wouldn't really be doing anything else anyway, and you might have done so much studying by the time you get to where you're going that you can take the rest of the night off!

If you're going to be travelling, plan out some work which would well suited for while you are on the go. If you have specific pieces of reading to complete, this would be the perfect time to do these, as you'll have a large period of time where you can focus interrupted. You can also prepare things such as flash cards or study notes for you to read over and memorise, which are easy enough to pop in your bag and access quickly.

Using up bits of extra time you have for study will mean you'll have more time to have fun, and you won't feel guilty while you're doing it.

Get out of the House

Stack of books

If you're travelling home for Christmas, this can be quite distracting in itself, especially if you have a large family! Trying to study while there are lots of people around distracting you is never going to be the best study environment, so why not try and do your studying out of the house? You don't have to pop out every day, but if you have a particular essay you need to really focus on, or need to do an intense study session for a class you're having trouble with, having a little time to clear your head could be the perfect solution.

You might want to scope out the area before you come home to see what is available to you, but the best place to start would be the local library. Of course, you may not have one near by, or it may be closed with the holiday season approaching, so it's good to have a backup, like a local cafe or coffee shop where you sit in relative peace for a large chunk of the afternoon.

This also means when you return to your family's house you should be a little more relaxed as you've crossed another chunk of studying off your list, so you'll be able to chill out and enjoy some family time.

Mix it Up

Coloured pencils

Nothing is worse than feeling tired and bored at a time when you're supposed to be having fun, so it's important to make sure you mix up what you're studying, so you don't feel like you're slogging away all the time. There are a couple of ways you can do this, but one of the easiest is to split up the subjects you enjoy with the ones you're maybe not so keen on, so you're alternating your study days. That way, if you're having a particularly bad day, you can always look forward to tomorrow when you can study something you enjoy a bit more.

You can also alter the amount of time you spend on each subject, so you don't become overwhelmed. You may want to spend a large chunk of the day on a more intensive subject, to make sure you really get into the right mindset and are studying effectively, but then you can round off your day with an hour or two of something a bit lighter. Not only will this give you something to look forward to, but it will also give you a little time to wind down at the end of your study session before you get back into holiday mode.


Studying throughout any holiday period means a bit of adjustment, but if you're organised, it doesn't need to be any more stressful than the studying you usually do throughout your school year. It's important to plan it out as much as possible so you get the perfect balance between work and relaxing. You also want to make sure that you go back to school, college, or university in the New Year feeling refreshed and relaxed, so plan your time wisely and remember to have fun too!