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The Light at the End of the Tunnel

By: Bolaji Oke-Samuel, section editor for student voices (bokes3@uic.edu)

At this point in the semester, most college students are beginning to feel the brunt of school work and they might begin to regard Spring Break as the light at the end of the tunnel of hard work, which involves assignments, projects and somewhat grueling midterm exams. For some students the idea of a week off becomes our drive to getting through the first half of the Spring semester. Phrases such as, “I can’t wait for Spring Break” are not far from our lips and are well drawn on our faces. It becomes a little easier to get that kick to finish studying gazillion chapters when you know that you have made solid plans to relax during Spring Break.

So here, reader, I pose to you the question that is most important to this piece: What are your plans for Spring Break? Now the answer to this question will vary per individual but I have been able to identify two effective ways that a student can utilize Spring Break, which is going on a vacation or even more studying.

So here, reader, I pose to you the question that is most important to this piece: What are your plans for Spring Break?

For students like me who are having a hard time catching up with their workload for this semester, one week of no school is a great time to play catch up to all those readings and big projects such as, capstone and/or research projects. However, it is easy to say I will spend the whole week working non-stop but it is harder to follow through on that promise. The first trap that awaits the studious student during Spring Break is the all too known temptation of sleeping in.

The best way to conquer that temptation would be to avoid over sleeping. It might be okay to add a few more hours of shut eye to celebrate Spring Break; however, the trap lies in staying up all night doing unnecessary things and hoping that you will still be able to wake up at a decent time and still get quality work done. In this situation, your bed would gladly hold you captive and you might find yourself powerless against it (I am sure that we all know what I am talking about here). One other way, to avoid looking back on the week of Spring Break and mentally beating yourself up is to have a plan.

Let me rephrase that, a productive Spring Break requires good planning and balance. Here is what I mean. Most of us make plans that will involve non-stop studying however, that old saying still holds true “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy”. Overloading oneself with work during Spring Break might lead to the loss of motivation to follow through with that same work ethic throughout the week. In this case, it is best to plan smartly, work a lot but play harder and take heed not to let one overshadow the other. At this point, I say, Good luck to the planners and catcher-uppers out there.

And just because you have decided to read this far I will share with you a secret that I stumbled upon recently that will help you conquer procrastination. Here it goes; the best way not to procrastinate with your to-do list is to begin with the hardest task. A recent study has shown that beginning with the hardest task helps eliminate the time spent worrying and it helps eliminate the daunting task leaving you with the easy to do smaller tasks. In addition to this, it is also important to prioritize in terms of time sensitive tasks.

And for those of us who are fortunate enough to have been able to keep up with the school work load, I will advise that you treat yourself to a Spring Break vacation in order to relax and reward yourself for a job well done. There are numerous ways to do this. I stumbled upon a website that offers great deals for Students who are making plans to travel for Spring Break. In addition, there is a student organization on the UIC Campus; Alternative Spring Break which offers the best of both worlds, in which students get to travel and work for a good cause. Pay it forward, right. So students here are my ideas on how to spend your Spring Break, please feel free to post ideas of your own, comments, or suggestions if you have any in the text box below. Thank you for reading thus far!

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