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AStA blog

The break between two semesters is getting closer or for certain students like me there is already a break.

For most students, this means a relaxed time where they can do whatever they want freely and start projects that they haven't had time to start. However, some others are concerned about this time when the routine created by the online courses stopped feeling lost doing something out of their vacation.

Since we are still only allowed to stay at home, the occasions for trips abroad are limited and almost all public places are closed. As a result, it could be anxious and difficult to find a new rhythm.

I want to give you 7 tips to make the most of your break:

1. Take care of your body

It was sometimes difficult to find time to properly prepare lunch between online classes or during a class that took place during the normal lunch break. During the vacation, you can take the time to eat healthily and prepare your own meals.

The same happened for the training. For some of us, physical activity was simply impossible due to limited space and / or motivation. AStA continues to offer online workouts every week, but now that you have a break, take some time to exercise your body: exercising, running, walking, and so on.

Finally, use the break to get proper sleep to relieve the accumulated stress. However, after a few days without an alarm, it might be interesting to wake up with one again to create a certain routine and not miss your day as you wake up at 12 noon every day.

2. Take care of your mind

Meditation helps maintain a healthy mind. It is an approach to health, well-being, and personal development that consists of actively training the mind to increase the ability to be fully aware of the present moment. It also helped learn how to focus and can be helpful in studying.

Then the vacation break can be perfect for a time of introspection. While we are in a routine of daily habits, we don't take the time to think about the medium or long term perspective. After our studies, life goes on and visualizing the future, but also having plans can help to be more relaxed about the future.

Finally, personal development could also be beneficial for everyone, to work on our weaknesses, to better communicate with others and to work on ourselves.

3. Help others

Even if contact with others is limited, you can still find a way to help you. It could just be a neighbor who needs help paint their walls, your parents who cut wood for you, an old restaurant owner who needs to learn how to use social media to promote their location. You can also look for help online from an association on sustainability, precariousness, animals, etc.

4. Start something new and challenge yourself

This time is suitable for starting a new activity or learning a new skill: language, painting, handstand, cooking. It is very stimulating for the brain to do this and it will keep you occupied. Additionally, before the end of the break, it might be interesting to face challenges: being able to run a half marathon, sticking to the morning routine, speaking sign language, and ending a saga of books.

5. Call your relatives and friends

Usually we let time go by without thinking about maintaining the bonds we have made with others. This break is an opportunity to call an uncle you barely call, a friend you met on an exchange semester but who never took the time to contact him / her again. Relationships are fundamental, even more so in this time of the pandemic. Creating new friendships is complicated, but maintaining existing friendships is easy thanks to technology.

6. Clean up

I'm not particularly talking about your room or apartment, which you were too lazy to be about during your studies. Is it more about cleaning up your documents and folders? or any materials you will need during your online class. Maybe you've downloaded software that you won't be using in your next semester, or you borrow a book from the library and have loads of post-it in it. Take the time to free up your personal space and have a fresh start for your next semester.

7. Find your balance

You don't always have to be productive during this vacation break. The goal here is not to feel guilty about doing nothing or watching movies in sequence. It's just important to find a balance between entertainment and learning. You should take more time that you normally don't have to cocoon, but you can still review some tasks that you have on your to-do list. A perfect day would be a mix of both, but each would have their own approach and preferences.

Text by Margaux Venet