Why You Should Think About School During Spring Break


Spring Break is about finally getting to relax after intense learning, especially in the quarter system where it’s all done in just 10 weeks. Personally, it’s a time to sleep, spend time with my family, and plan for spring quarter. Yes, you heard me right. Even though I firmly believe in giving yourself a break from academics, you shouldn’t let things slip through the cracks. We’re all adults and even though we love having fun, we’re all capable of balancing our responsibilities with enjoyment.


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Don’t get me wrong, I love finally having free time to do what I want; whether that’s binge watching a show or going on adventures with my friends. But, I also like being ahead of the game. I know it’s discouraging to see a new professor send you the syllabus at the beginning of your vacation, or maybe even before the previous quarter has ended but it’s still a really good idea to take a look at it before hand. Here are four tips to getting ahead of the game during vacation.


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1. Look At The Tentative Schedule


Professors tend to include the class schedule in their syllabus, so go ahead and pull out your planner or open up Google Calendar and start putting in the important dates. I tend to find the dates for when homework is due, quizzes and tests are scheduled, and when the final exam is taking place. Having these in your planner not only lets you know in advance when things are coming up, but also allows you to plan around big events. This is key to allowing yourself to to have fun while still being prepared, or else you’re left in the dark about big assignments until the day before it’s due.


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2. Find Your Textbooks


Your class’s syllabus will more than likely have the required textbook and/or books noted in there somewhere. I’m not saying you have to order the book way before the class starts, but take some time to research the book. Find the cheapest form of obtaining the book, whether that may be renting it or buying a new or used copy from websites like Chegg Books. I personally like looking at my professor’s reviews on Rate My Professors and gage as to whether or not you actually need that expensive textbook. The sooner you have your textbook, the better; you won’t be scrambling to find the book days before the first homework assignment is due.


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3. Empty Your Backpack


Now that you’re done with your classes, it’s time to let go of some unwanted weight. It’s important to purge unnecessary items that you just won’t need for next quarter/semester. Maybe it’s papers that aren’t worth keeping or a textbook for an breadth course from a subject you won’t be pursuing ever again. If you’ve seen or heard of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, then you’re familiar with the idea of keeping items that spark joy for you. Take this time to declutter and reset for the next quarter. I like to post textbooks and books I don’t need anymore to my school’s Free/For Sell page on Facebook, it’s a good way to give things new homes and make a little money back.


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4. Find Your Classrooms


Even if you’re familiar with your campus, it’s important to find your classrooms ahead of time. I’m not saying you have to go through campus and physically find your classroom, but you should write down the building and room number somewhere accessible. I like linking my R’Web term schedule with my Google Calendar so I can get reminders through my phone an hour before class. Another great resource here at UCR is the Classrooms webpage. The website will filter the school’s map according to the building you’re looking for and will show you the floor plan and what the classroom looks like itself. Better safe than sorry on the first day back.


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In reality, all these things can be done in just a few hours. Maybe you have to catch a flight to your spring break destination, that’s more than plenty of time to start figuring out your new schedule and preparing for the next quarter/semester. Allow yourself to get things out of the way ahead of time because it’s better to stress about things before it’s too late; this will truly allow you to have some more freedom to do what you want to do. Now go have some fun.