In my first year at sixth form, I couldn’t believe how much free time I had. I spent most of my free periods in the common room socialising with friends and getting to know new people. Don’t get me wrong, making connections with people is super important at college, however, as we got towards mocks and the mid-way point of the year, I suddenly realised I had a lot of work that needed to be done pretty quickly. Over my first year, I developed systems that have worked well for me and have allowed me to be ultra-productive. Here are my top tips for using your free time at college effectively.
Get Homework Done
Are you ready for the most over-used studying tip ever? Do your homework the day you get it. It’s been said a million times but most people still don’t listen to this crucial advice. Getting homework done in your free periods after your lessons is essential. Not only does it mean all the information is fresh in your head (which means you will finish the work quicker), but it also means when you get home you’ll have more free time that you can use to relax (or utilise to get a head start on revision).
Don’t Forget About Lunch Times
I’m not suggesting that you should give up eating to do work during your lunch break. However, after eating, any spare time you have in lunch could be used to complete small manageable tasks. I use mine for a lot of admin tasks like replying to emails, saving work onto memory sticks, organising magazine meetings, editing my CV and portfolio and I also like to complete small homework assignments during this time. Not anything like long essays but rather, if a teacher asked us to do some reading or to do a little extra research or even just complete a few pages in a work booklet, lunchtime is a great time to complete these small tasks.
Don’t Go Home Early
When your lessons for the day have finished you don’t have to go home. Sometimes staying in an environment that’s meant for studying can mean you are far more productive than you would be at home. I can get so easily distracted at home by my laptop, my phone, even my dog. At college, if I want to use my phone I have to use up my data so there’s less temptation to procrastinate. This self-discipline will really pay off when you get ahead of the game in terms of revision and you feel prepared for your mocks and real exams.
Take a Break
Whilst this may contradict most of what I’ve just advised, it is important to take a breather sometimes. Yes, it’s essential that you don’t procrastinate but sometimes after particularly stressful lessons, tests or days, you just need to give yourself a break to chill out and make sure you’re feeling okay. Whilst it is important to work hard, it’s also essential that you don’t do too much otherwise you will risk yourself cracking under the pressure and that’s the last thing you want.
So there you have it. Those are my tips on how to effectively and productively use your free periods at college.
How do you use your free periods? Do you like to get work done or do you just chill out? Be sure to let me know in the comments below or tweet me!