Keeping your student on track during Thanksgiving break

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Thanksgiving is upon us, and families are getting ready to gather together for feasting, fun, and reflections of gratitude. With all of this activity going on, how is a student to stay focused? This morning, Michelle Sagalyn, CEO and Founder of Study Skills 4 Students stopped by our studio to give us four tips to stay on track.

1. Make a study schedule and stick to it

  • Make a list of all of the assignments your want to work on over the holidays.
  • Get your planner and mark down all of your activities, both for school as well as other obligations.
  • Make sure you indicate what will be studied, what day it will be done, and how long a time will be spent.
  • It could be 30 minutes of algebra homework and review every day, completing a science thesis over two days, or practicing for an upcoming history presentation daily.
  • It’s up to you as to how your time will be divvied up. The more challenging the class or assignment, the more time you should allot.
  • The more outside activities you have, the more important it will be to stick to your schedule.

2. Timing is everything

  • Figure out when during the day you feel most alert and have the least chance of getting distracted.
  • Some of us are morning people, while others feel they work best later in the day.
  • Whatever the case, whatever it is, stick with it.
  • Especially during the holiday break, days are often crammed with activities with family and friends. If these activities compete for your time, maybe it’s worth getting up an hour earlier to study while calmness surrounds you.

3. Set deadlines and hold yourself accountable

  • Keep your focus by setting and committing to deadlines by when something should be accomplished.
  • One way to cushion and protect yourself from running out of time is to set your own personal deadlines a bit earlier than when assignments are actually due.
  • Make the deadlines manageable by breaking apart projects and assigning several consecutive deadlines.

4. Reward yourself for achieving your goals

  • You can’t possibly study all the time. That’s a sure recipe for stress!
  • Since it’s the holiday season, there are multiple fun ways to take breaks.
  • After homework, reward yourself by watching something on Netflix, or embarking on a baking project
  • Whatever seasonal activity you love to do, promise yourself that you’ll do it after your day’s study goal is met.

There’s a lot going on during holiday break, and there are plenty of fun things to do other than study. But if you schedule and plan your time accordingly, and choose the most appropriate time of the day for you to study, you’ll have plenty of time for fun, too. Don’t forget to give yourself breaks and reward yourself by surrounding yourself with fun.

For FREE weekly study tips, such as these, go to, and subscribe to our Thursday Study Tips.

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