8 Ways to get Refocused After Coming Back from Holiday Break - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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January 19, 2021

8 Ways to get Refocused After Coming Back from Holiday Break

8 Ways to get Refocused After Coming Back from Holiday Break

Breaks are important. They help you to recharge. They give your brain a chance to rest. But getting back into the groove of going to classes and hitting the books after a holiday break can be difficult. Do you find it difficult to refocus on your schoolwork after a break? Have you been asking yourself, “How can I get back on track to study?” or “How do I get my routine back after vacation?” If so, you’re in the right place. These tips will help you focus and develop a good routine to study and grow—now and throughout the upcoming semester.


  1. Consider college’s applications for life. Start thinking about your classes and how they’re preparing you for life—career-wise and spiritually. Each class provides knowledge and tools you’ll need for success in your given career path. They are preparing you to excel and, thereby, to be a faithful witness to the world around you. Be excited that the classes are equipping you for your future and for the work you are to do for the kingdom.


  1. Prepare for the semester. Begin shopping for and gathering the supplies you’ll need for the upcoming semester. Start stuffing your backpack with things such as pens, pencils, index cards, Post-It notes, notebooks, etc. This small act helps get your brain ready to focus on your schoolwork. Consider purchasing small items that you’ll look forward to using, such as pens that write in your favorite color of ink, a notebook whose cover inspires you, etc.


  1. Take a day or two to rest.Did you play hard during your break? Did you find yourself constantly on the go? Take a couple of days to catch your breath and “take a vacation from your vacation.” Slow down and rest, preparing your body and mind to focus on the semester ahead.


  1. Take a moment to look at “the road map.”If you’re beginning a new semester, read the syllabuses for each of your classes so you know the expectations and responsibilities for each course. The syllabuses will help you understand the workload and assignment deadlines you’ll be facing in the weeks ahead. This information will prepare you to navigate the semester with confidence. If you’re returning from a mid-term break, think about what you need to do and any changes you need to make to pull your grades up to where you want them to be. Do you need to put more study time into your schedule? Do you need tutoring in a subject? Would a study partner help you by providing accountability?


  1. Set goals and plan out the semester. Or, if it was a mid-term break, plan out the remaining part of the semester. Using your syllabuses, schedule your assignments in your planner. Block out time for big projects such as research papers so that you don’t find yourself cramming and short on time because you didn’t plan for the project deadlines. This preemptive planning will help you refocus on your schoolwork now and also help you feel less stressed during the semester ahead.

Planning and laying out a schedule allows you to see what needs to be done and when. It also helps you to cultivate good study habits. A good schedule will assist you in:

  • Managing your study routine, making sure you are ready for projects, presentations and exams
  • Maintaining your motivation and a positive attitude
  • Completing assignments promptly
  • Making sure you have time to take care of yourself, thereby avoiding burnout
  • Creating and maintaining healthy sleep habits.


  1. Making time for prayer and Bible study.Speaking of scheduling, make sure you prioritize your quiet times for Bible study and prayer. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” God wants us to see His kingdom first. Therefore, as you make out your schedule, be sure to block out times when you can set everything else aside and diligently seek Him through Bible study and prayer. A good thing about having a schedule with everything on it, you also have a list of things for which you can pray.


  1. Create a motivational playlist.Ah, music. It relaxes. It stimulates. It motivates. Music has a way of putting us into certain mindsets depending upon the selections that are played. Sift through your favorite tunes and create a playlist that motivates and inspires you. Then use this playlist whenever you need something to help you get into the studying mood.

There are many benefits to studying with music, including it:

  • Eases stress
  • Reduces test anxiety
  • Boosts performance
  • Improves focus
  • Increases concentration
  • Stimulates brain functions
  • Lessens distractions

If you don’t know what music to select, YouTube has lots of videos that provide hours of ambient study music to help you focus, such as this selection which is over three hours long. Don’t dismiss classical music. Albert Einstein frequently played it as a brainstorming technique and was particularly fond of Mozart. It just might do the trick for you. Here’s a selection that offers you six hours of Mozart. 

Listening to classical music can help:

  • Improve creativity and clarity
  • Enhance test scores
  • Integrate both sides of the brain
  • Reduce learning time


  1. Make a goal to be as healthy as possible.Your body is a temple in which the Holy Spirit resides and as such should be well cared for and maintained. Part of this is accomplished through prayer and Bible study which addresses the spiritual aspect. But you need to also address your physical and mental health.

Make sure you get enough sleep and find time to eat healthy foods. Find ways to prevent and relieve stress when it occurs. Examples of things you can use to prevent and relieve stress and anxiety include:

  • Exercise, which can be as simple as a walk around the block or a set of jumping jacks.
  • Reduce caffeine intake—caffeine increases anxiety.
  • Spend quality time with friends and family.
  • Laughter—watch a funny show, listen to a comedian, etc. Find something that helps you laugh.
  • Learn to say “no”—be selective about new activities you want to add to your calendar.
  • Don’t procrastinate and you’ll find you’re less stressed because you won’t always have to accomplish something at the very last minute which is always stressful.

These tips will help you get and stay in the college mindset. And if you find yourself overwhelmed, stop, take a deep breath, close your eyes and say to yourself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Allow His love to flow over you and have a great semester.