The school holidays are eagerly anticipated by students up and down the country. Especially after this long term, it’s a huge relief to have a couple of weeks of reprieve from the slog of school. However it’s hard to know how to make the best of this time. Too often, I’ve reached the end of the holidays and looked back feeling like I’d somehow simultaneously achieved nothing, and not had a real break at all. To help you avoid this situation, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to make the most of your school holidays.

First and foremost, use the next two weeks to chill out and unwind as much as possible – it’s called school holidays for a reason! Going to school for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week is mentally exhausting – not to mention all the homework and extracurriculars that we have to keep up with in term time. It’s so important to use this opportunity to take a break and recharge for the next term. Even though the pressures of NCEA are just starting to heat up, and you might feel like you should spend your entire holidays revising, give yourself permission to just relax for a bit. Hang out with friends and go for walks, or watch netflix and spend all day in bed – whatever floats your boat. The important thing is that you’re taking time to chillax and give your brain a well-deserved break.

In an ideal world, the school holidays would be two weeks of stress-free, work-free relaxation. Unfortunately, NCEA doesn’t just go away and we’ve still got to put in a bit of work. Obviously, if you’ve been set homework or assessments to do over the holidays it’s a good idea to do them – and do them early. Getting them out of the way quickly means you won’t have to rush to finish them over the last weekend. It’ll make your holidays way better because you won’t feel that guilty stress of knowing you have things to do when you’re trying to enjoy yourself. In addition though, the holidays are a great opportunity to get ahead a little bit. They’re like a ‘grace period’ – a time to catch up on everything while there’s no new work being set. If there’s an assessment or task you know you’ll need to do later, then it’s a great idea to do it or at least get it started. This means you won’t have to worry about it when it’s due, and you can also be very smug when all your friends are complaining about it. For example, I’m planning on smashing out a couple of reading responses so I can focus on other things next term, plus I won’t have to write another one until August.

We all have those things that we always mean to do, but they always seem to get pushed to the side and we never get around to it. I find that part of the reason is that with school, there’s a never ending stream of more important things to do that keep coming up. The holidays are the perfect time to finally get around to picking up that hobby or learning that new skill that’s on your bucket list. If you’ve been meaning to start running, or to learn to code, or to pick up the piano, the time is now. Not only do you have heaps of free time, but also heaps of mental capacity that’s not being used at school.

Now, go forth and relax!

Kate is a Year 12 student from Canterbury. She enjoys music, languages, sunny days, and a good book – and she’s one of JETmag’s newest bloggers!

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