Exams are the worst part of college. They cause so much stress and make up a large percentage of one’s final grade. The weeks leading up to final exams can be full of worrying about one’s grade dropping. Sometimes, a bad grade can feel like the end of the world, so we study for hours on end to prevent what we fear the most. During this stressful time, it can be easy to forget about the holidays, which used to be the best part of the year. Think back to the Friday before winter break in elementary school, a day full of holiday-related food, activities and games. Everyone in the classroom was full of excitement. Here are some ways that you can replicate those same feelings of joy and get into the holiday spirit during exam season:
The holidays are full of fun and delicious, sweet treats. Regardless of the holiday you celebrate, I am certain that there is at least one food that you always look forward to eating. Treat yourself during a study break and make that food or dessert. I’m sure your friends will love it too!
2. Listen to holiday music
I personally can’t imagine celebrating the holidays without listening to holiday music. I begin changing my playlists right after Halloween is over. There is something so happy and positive about the songs. They remind me of spending time with family, colder weather and the joy felt during the season. Start playing this music in your headphones while studying or while on a study break to remind yourself of the exciting times ahead.
Make your space a place where you look forward to spending your time. I can find myself spending hours and hours in my room studying for large exams. According to USQ Pressbooks, having a space dedicated to studying that is comfortable and can satisfy all of your studying needs can improve your efficiency and learning. Adding something festive to your space can improve your mood and be a motivator to get you through the tough exam-filled weeks. The small decor can also remind you of the fun you are about to experience. This year, I am looking forward to having a mini Christmas tree in my room that I will decorate with brightly colored and glittery ornaments.
4. Watch a holiday movie
There are countless movies that can get you into the holiday spirit. I love watching these movies because it is something I used to do with my parents and younger sister on Christmas Eve – a family favorite is “Elf.” After you’re done studying, watching a movie by yourself or with your roommates can be a way to relax and can put a little cheerfulness into your life.
5. Get someone you love a gift
Holidays involve giving gifts to those you love and appreciate the most. Money is not what’s important; rather, it is the thought and effort one puts in to celebrate someone special. Getting a friend something, small or large, is a great way to spread the holiday spirit. You can give a gift to one person; you could set up a gift exchange or do Secret Santa. There are endless ways that you can show your gratitude to the people who make your college experience amazing.
6. Holiday pajamas
Holiday pajamas are super popular because they are cozy and stylish and can be a funny way to match outfits. My roommates and I have already purchased matching holiday pajamas to wear during the months of November and December. They are festive and give us a sense of anticipation for the times following exam season. You can find holiday pajamas almost anywhere nowadays, including Target, Walmart and Amazon.
I write this list to remind busy college students to not forget about all of the fun we used to have when we were younger during this time of year. The fun doesn’t have to be over. The holiday season was something most of us looked forward to, but now, it can be dreaded or forgotten about because of challenging exams. School can be overwhelming, and our performance on exams can feel extremely important because we want the best for our future. Just remember to take care of yourself during this busy season and set aside some time to celebrate the festivities ahead!