One useful trick to make the most of your holiday break

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Well, it’s just about time for the winter break. There’s a bit of the semester left when you come back, and it’ll soon be time for one last academic push. For now, though, it’s time to enjoy that break. Whether you’re going home or staying at the residence, you probably want to do two things: Sleep and relax. But school will be back soon, and there’s an easy thing you can do to get ready for it. It’s called a post-mortem.

What’s a post-mortem?

The term post-mortem comes from the journalism and business worlds. Over there, a post-mortem is a meeting held when a project is finished, to determine what worked, what didn’t, and what can be improved next time. The semester may not be done yet, but the winter break is the perfect time to hold a post-mortem on your own performance in school, for the same reasons. Basically, you want to take a good, hard look at how you’ve done, figure out what you did well, and what you did poorly. Then, you figure out what you're going to change.

Take a look at your study and work habits

Did you turn your assignments in on time? How did you do on them? Did you give each assignment the time it needed? Is there any way you can manage your time better? Look at your study space, too, be it where you live or at school. Where are you getting your work done? Does your study space actually let you study? Should you get a new one? If you’re living at our residence, we have specific areas that serve as dedicated study spaces, and if you’re at once of our campuses, there are quiet study spaces in our libraries. Meanwhile, if you need help revising those habits, we also have special peer tutoring programs you can take part in.

Take a look at yourself, too

Don't just take a look at your school habits. Take a look at your life habits, too. After all, your health is important to your success, too. How do you eat? Are you exercising? Are you sleeping enough? What’s become a problem? What can you do better? What are you already doing well? And how do you feel? Are you stressed, or tired? What can you do to make either of those go away? If you’re looking to improve your physical health, even a little bit of time spent at our Athletic and Wellness Centre can help you feel better physically, and making use of our Counselling Centre can help you mentally.

Then, come up with a plan of action

So, what can you do to fix this? Change how you manage your time, change where you work, and when you work, cut some activities out of your life (or add them). Another thing I recommend: Taking some time to clean your life up. When things get busy, it’s okay to be a bit disorganized. But now that you have some time, you can clean your work and living space, collect those scattered papers, dust everywhere, and throw out all the notes and other things you don’t need. All it takes is a day, so you won’t burn through too much of your time.

By Anthony Geremia