These holidays coming up might seem like your last breath of fresh air before you plunge your head underwater for the stressful term to come – or you might see them as an opportunity to get a running start on next year. It’s hard to say how much work you should be doing or how much time you should spend relaxing because everyone has a different optimal level of both.

However, I can say that it’s important to consider how you want to use these holidays because to a certain extent the pattern you get into now will set the tone for next year. It’s important to start determining your perfect balance between work and relaxation now so that things go smoothly next year.

I’m speaking from experience! In my first holidays during the HSC I didn’t do any planning and ended up doing way more work than I should have. It meant I put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself and I arrived at Term 1 feeling a lot more stressed than all that work should have made me. Later on I developed an efficient holiday study timetable that let me be really productive during the day while keeping afternoons, nights and weekends free. I could be social and go out during the holidays knowing I had ticked off goals that day, and when I came back to school I felt really secure in the work I had done but also like I had had a proper break, which is so important.

So it’s up to you now to start thinking about this and doing a bit of planning. Consider the goals you want to achieve by the time school starts. Consider how much work you need to get done in order to feel prepared and calm. Even consider some challenges you can set yourself, because it’s now when you have more free time that you can afford to push yourself. Most importantly, consider the type of work you should be doing and whether your goals are realistic and specific enough.

When it gets to studying for Trials next year, you’ll thank yourself that you already have somewhat of a routine going – whether it includes a lot of break and a little work or vice versa. Find what works best for you.

Nechama Basserabie

HSC CoWorks Coach – ATAR 99.90