As Christmas break draws near, you may be starting to think about how you’ll revise for January exams and complete your essays at home. Studying away from campus can be challenging, with plenty of distractions alongside a change of environment. To help make sure this transition is as smooth as possible we’ve put together this handy guide to help you when studying away from campus.
Get organised before you leave
You don’t want to open up your laptop and realise you’ve forgotten a book or folder that you need to complete your work or revision – especially when you can’t just dash back and get it!
Before leaving Manchester, make sure to check out any books or resources that you might need from the library and pack your notes and textbooks so you can be as productive as possible while at home. A little planning will go a long way!
Schedule your studying
Deadlines and exam season can be stressful, and the distraction of the festive season can make it feel overwhelming. Organising your workload and creating a plan can help you to stay organised and on top of your work, hopefully making things feel a little more manageable.
Start by creating a to-do list of everything you need to complete before term restarts. You might want to organise this by module adding in the dates that tasks need to be completed alongside any extra-curricular deadlines you have. Alternatively, you could write everything down as it comes to you to get it all on paper and then organise by priority. Find a way that works for you.
Once you’ve got your to-do list, schedule in when you’re going to complete them. You could do this in a paper diary or use tools like Google Calendar so you can edit your schedule if your plans change. Giving yourself a rough timetable will help you stay on track over the holidays and prevent any last-minute rushes to the finish line!
Make time for relaxation
In the same way that it might be helpful to plan when you’ll study, make sure you also give yourself enough time to relax and spend time with the people you love.
Although your workload may be heavy, this is meant to be a time to unwind and look after yourself after a busy and stressful term. Taking a break is essential so you can start the new year feeling refreshed and not risk burning out.
If you struggle to switch off, think about scheduling your relaxation time into your study calendar so you can properly relax and not worry about when you’ll get your work done.
Find a study-relaxation balance
The change of environment can be distracting when studying off-campus, and you might find it difficult to get into the right headspace to study whilst at home. Having a balance between study and relaxation can help you make the most of your study time and really enjoy your time off.
Think about designating an area of your home specifically for work, such as a spare room or desk. Try to avoid the temptation to work from bed or the sofa! If you’re finding it hard to study at home due to space or noise, then check out your local study options such as cafés, libraries or dedicated study spaces to help you focus. You can even study at different University libraries – check out if your local University is eligible via the SCONUL website.
Use the support that’s on offer
Being away from campus doesn’t mean you’re alone. There’s still lots of university support you can access off-campus. This includes academic support, resources to help you manage your mental health and My Learning Essentials. The SU Advice Service is also full of lots of great advice, resources and here is to help you make the most of your time at uni. You can find more about what’s on offer on our student support website.
And remember, our Christmas closure pages are on hand to help you whilst the uni is closed, so whether you’re going home for a couple of weeks, days or staying in Manchester, we’re here to help.