Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Spring break, the temporary escape from the stresses of school, a chance to catch up on sleep, be productive, and re-fresh for the rest of the school year. That's a rather optimistic view of the five days of relatively fleeting freedom given to students every spring. Nevertheless, it was nice while it lasted.
The time between spring break and summer vacation is the exciting final stretch of the school year. It's exciting because both summer and warmer weather are on the horizon. What is often overlooked by educators, students, and parents alike is the tremendous amount of effort it takes to make it through these final months or weeks of the school year.
Spring break is over, and now you you are back in school and staying motivated seems more difficult than ever. Not to worry, you're not alone in your struggle to stay motivated for this last stretch of the school year.
Here are some tips on how to stay motivated:
1. Get your sleeping schedule back on track
Getting a good night's sleep is one of the best ways you can prepare for the day ahead and be ready to learn. After a week off from school, it is likely that your sleep schedule is pretty out-of-whack. As difficult as it may be, consistently getting to bed early can do wonders to improve academic success. When the body and mind are well-rested from a good night's sleep the ability of students to focus, recall and retain information, and engage in discussion is significantly higher than students that do not have a consistent and healthy sleeping schedule.
After a late night out, you accumulate "sleep debt" which is the hours of lost sleep that add up quickly without taking measures to have a consistent sleep schedule. It typically takes 2-3 days to fully recover from sleep debt when it starts to build up. Let's say you stay up 3 hours later than normal on the first night, then 1 hour later than normal the next night, and then you finally get to bed on-time on the third night. By the third day when you're in class you are carrying 4 hours of sleep debt even though you went to bed on-time last night.
By committing to sleep for 6-8 (teens/adults) or 8-9 (children) hours of sleep per night and maintaining fairly consistent times to fall asleep and wake-up, you're mind and body will thank you!
2. Start a countdown
Summer is near! If summer is something you're looking forward, create a countdown! Whether your countdown to summer is on a piece of paper, a dry-erase board, or on an app on your phone or computer. This will give you something to look forward to every day and seeing the number get closer and closer to zero will help to hype up the anticipation!
3. Make a list of all big deadlines and events that are coming up
As the end of school year nears, there are likely a few big tests, assignments, or events going on before you're done for the year. It can be extremely helpful to make a master list in a notebook, plannar, or calendar to make sure that you're organized and aware of all the major deadlines coming up.
If you want to go one step further, you can order all tasks according to when they are due and then rank them based on how difficult or important you view the task to be. Doing this can be helpful to allow you to visualize everything on your mind instead of trying to remember everything in your head.
4. Don't Procrastinate!!!
If you followed the previous tip, you now have an organized list of tasks. Now it is important to not procrastinate so you are able to avoid as much stress as possible and be successful! By making a commitment to complete the tasks on your list without delaying them unnecessarily, you will be able to avoid the stress of last-minute cramming.