Got big plans for your future? You may have signed on to do a course or some other type of study and you’re pumped about getting some great work done over summer. December can actually be a fantastic month to get ahead if you plan properly! If you have big plans and goals, honing your skills with a course can be a great way to enhance your resume, your confidence and your future job prospects.
Traditionally, the months of December and January are when Australians like to relax. Most Aussies can be found on the beach, at the barbeque or in their backyards playing cricket. However, some of the more industrious of us like to use these months to invest in ourselves and our future.
Here are the top 10 reasons to study rather than socialise this Christmas!
1. Get ahead while the others are partying
Want to be ahead of the pack? While everyone else is out burning the candle at both ends you can get ahead by creating a study plan and sticking to it. Businesses used to shut down over the Christmas break, but increasingly, places of work are staying open during this time to service their customers and get the competitive edge over their competition.
Likewise, if you plan out a series of study sessions over the summer months you could potentially get ahead of your competitors. Could you use this time to network, to find a mentor or to do some work experience that might benefit your course? Often summer can be a great time to strike!
2. Have some of your goals achieved by New Year
The year can go so quickly and before you know it, December is upon us! The good news is that there are still a couple of weeks to go before we hit the New Year. With some careful planning, you could make a serious dent in your workload, all you have to do is make a reasonable agenda.
New Year’s resolutions are regarded as flimsy promises that we don’t often stick to. If you’ve wanted to make some big changes in your life, realise that you can achieve your goals, you just need to put the wheels in motion. Use this time wisely and by New Year you could have checked off some of those important goals.
3. Save money!
December is a notorious time of year when it comes to budgeting modestly. There’re so many things to buy: presents, decorations, food, holiday supplies, a new cozzie… the list goes on and on! One of the benefits of studying rather than socialising over the summer months is the effect on your wallet.
Just think of all the cash you’ll save if you forego those trips to the pub, those expensive, beachside restaurants and those nights out on the town! Sure, it’s important to still have fun but by focusing on your study rather than your social life, one thing is guaranteed: you will save some coin!
4. Make the most of the longer daylight hours
Depending on where you live in Australia, you may get to enjoy the benefits of daylight saving. Regardless of whether your state or territory has this, over summer we all get longer hours, wherever we are!
The mornings are brighter and sunnier, and in some places in Australia, there is daylight until 7:30 or 8pm, leaving plenty of time to get that extra essay done or that extra reference checked. Make the most of the longer hours and pull out your online textbooks and do an hour or two of study after dinner.
5. You have more time to focus on yourself
Think about how much time you have left in your life to make an impact on this world. No matter your age, you still have things to achieve and to contribute to the world. The older you are, the more responsibilities you may have; a mortgage, a busy job, a spouse, some kids… maybe even grandkids?
Whatever your age, you need to find time to focus on yourself. No one can do your learning, goal setting and studying for you – this is a personal journey of growth. In order to achieve your goals, you need to make some time to focus solely on yourself, without the usual disruptions.
Summer can often be a great time to find that extra hour or two where you can lock yourself away and spend time with the course or subject area that you love. Maybe you need to research courses that might get you ahead? Maybe you’ve nearly finished a course and want to find some work experience. Use this time to focus on yourself.
6. Get some outside study done!
Sick of being trapped behind a desk? Summer can be a great time to get outside to do some work al fresco! There are studies that show that fresh air can actually aid your brain function. Researchers at the State University of New York wanted to study how increased levels of indoor CO2 might affect human decision-making capabilities, since brain function is affected by CO2 levels in the blood.
The study revealed that when CO2 concentrations increased, significant effects on the brain were evident. Decision-making was affected and task orientation showed a decline. This is what happens when you are trapped in a building for too long – so get outside and get some fresh air and reap the rewards!
7. Crummy holiday programming on TV and radio
Things have changed now that we get our media via the internet and cable TV more frequently but on free to air TV and radio you may discover that many of your fave shows are on holidays. Until late in January or sometimes as late as February, you’ll be getting lots of the crummy “holiday programming” shows that couldn’t make the grade in ratings season.
You might want to use this time to pull out the books (or the virtual books!) and get some extra study in. Sick of watching “summer specials” and reruns of B-grade shows? Switch the TV off and get some work done.
8. People may have more time to help you as they are on a break
The one thing most of us have in common is the fact that we are time poor. People have to prioritise their tasks and when we need help, often we can find ourselves on our own because everyone is so busy with their everyday routines.
These next few weeks can be a great time to finally make that phone call to that contact you’ve been meaning to touch base with. Often people have a bit more free time in the months preceding and immediately following Christmas. Make use of this time to get ahead.
9. Try some ‘easier’ tasks like research and reading
You are human and you do deserve some time off! Summer can be a great time to square away some study that you normally wouldn’t have time to do. Depending on the course you have chosen, taking time over the summer to learn a new computer program, read a text from start to finish or go through your study notes from the last couple of months acn be a great idea.
Remember not to put too much pressure on yourself; just because you have ten hours doesn’t mean that you should be devoting the whole time to study. Make sure your study timetable is flexible enough to account for any activities that come up, you don’t want to have to miss out on everything, or you might come to resent your choices. Moderation is the key.
10. Be a good girl or boy for Santa
Killed too many daddy longlegs spiders? Been impatient while on hold to the phone company? Borrowed your sister’s best designer heels and forgot to return them? If you’ve been more naughty than nice this year, then maybe you can gain a few points from Santa by putting in some extra study time.
You may not get a Barbie or a Transformer in your stocking this year but if you make the time to study over summer you can make a real dent in your course. After all, isn’t knowledge the best gift of all?
What are your summer study tips? Share them with me here!