Spring Break for Learning

Published on May 17, 2017 by arothstein

College students and Spring Break. When you hear these two nouns together, your thoughts immediately drift to wild parties in a distant exotic city and sleepless nights of socializing. However, the idea of Spring Break as a week to let loose and party hard is not the reality for most students. Spring Break is just another week, and for students who are employed or those without the funds to plan a big trip, Spring Break can be pretty uneventful. If you are looking for a way to spend your Spring Break, here are several ideas that can help you make your week productive and can help you get ahead on your learning!  


When the quarter is moving full speed ahead, and you have assignments and reading due almost daily, it is hard to find time to go back and review concepts you may not have totally nailed down the first time around. As you move into Spring Break, take a glance back at your syllabus, course notes, and reading materials and identify concepts that you need to look at a bit more closely. Without daily assignments to keep you busy, you will have time to refocus on these items and commit them to memory.


Spring Break can also be the perfect time to get a bit ahead in your classes. From getting a head start on reading assignments to putting a big dent into large projects or papers, use your break to spend time hitting the books. Even if you don’t understand the material 100% as you go through it ahead of schedule, when you do cover it in the course, you will be ahead and can spend time quickly reviewing instead of delving into the material for the first time. As for projects and papers, having the extra time to really think about and revisit what you are researching and writing can help your analysis. By going the extra mile, you are sure to find success on these assignments.


This is the best time of the year to get organized. Big box stores feature organizational tools at bargain prices as people all over the country lean in to Spring cleaning season. Go through your notebooks and throw out any items that you don’t need. Consolidate your notes and get them in order. Clean off your computer desktop. Rename computer files and organize them in a way that makes sense. Backup your computer and all of your important documents to an external hard drive or to Dropbox. Go through your personal and school emails, and clean out your junk mail folders. Take a look at your course syllabi, and mark upcoming events in your planner. With time to spare, you can get your academic and personal life organized. You can even take the time to clean off your desk or workspace. File away important papers. Dust. Buy a bouquet of fresh flowers to display in your work area. Knowing where to find things, having a clean desk, and having a grasp on the assignments you have coming due, you can enter the weeks after Spring Break ahead of the game.


Sometimes during the semester, your focus on reading for your classes takes you away from reading for pleasure. Don’t let Spring Break pass you by without stopping to read something for fun. Whether it is the most recent issue of your favorite magazine, a favorite blog, or even a juicy new novel by your favorite author, taking some time out to read for enjoyment is a great way to clear your head and prevent burnout.


You’ve heard of a “staycation.” Spring Break may be the perfect time to take one yourself. Do an internet search or visit your local chamber of commerce to find a interesting tourist trap near your home. Learn about a famous event that took place in your area. Get a glimpse into the life of a famous local historical figure. Spend some time learning about where you live. Getting in touch with your community can inspire you and provide you with some much needed downtime even as you learn something new!


With a bit more time for relaxation and television, Spring Break is a great time to watch a documentary. Netflix and other online television and movie providers have countless documentaries available for on-demand viewing. Whether you enjoy true crime, biographical features, or even documentaries on ancient civilizations, throw some popcorn in the microwave and take a few hours to learn something new in an engaging way. Documentary film makers have recently upped the ante when it comes to engaging their potential audiences, and you may be surprised to find that the new wave of documentaries that are currently being released are surprisingly engaging and extremely interesting for even the most demanding viewer.


You may be wondering why in the world you would want to take a class during your break from class. However, Spring Break provides you with a nice space of free time to learn something new. What is a hobby that you have always wanted to try? See if any classes are being offered during the time you are off from school. You can take a cooking class at a local restaurant. You can learn to sew by finding a beginners course at your local fabric store. Take a wine and design painting class. Visit your local sporting goods store and take a quick lesson on tying fishing flies or archery. Even if nothing is being offered locally, you can always check out what is being offered online. From webinars to YouTube courses, there are countless options to learn just about anything during your Spring Break.

Regardless of how you decide to spend your Spring Break, even if you have a Panama City-style party week planned, spend at least a little time learning. It will keep your mind sharp and keep you engaged and prepared to tackle your courses for the rest of the year.

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