Easter falls on March 27th this year, which is relatively early but it means good news for students. The long Easter bank holiday weekend is usually incorporated into the Easter holidays, so students often don't benefit from it fully as they are already off university anyway. However, with Easter falling so early in the year, and most universities only just getting back into the swing of things after the Christmas break, students get the rare opportunity to appreciate a four day weekend, followed by their official Easter break later in April.
So, with all that free time ahead, how can you avoid squandering it away? Here are a few ways in which you can make the most of your long weekend and your Easter break...
Spending time with family can be both relaxing and stressful. Rather than going home for the full end-of-semester break, why not visit your family over the long Easter weekend instead? Four days at home should be plenty of time to catch up with your parents, siblings, and other relatives without it all becoming too intense. Plus, there's the added bonus of Easter eggs too which is definitely worth going home for!
Choosing to visit your family on the long weekend leaves you free to study and catch up on coursework and revision during the end-of-semester break later in April. Make the most of the early Easter this year without it being detrimental to your end of year exam results.
Most universities subject their students to end-of-year exams shortly after the Easter break, so it makes sense to use those two or three weeks of lecture-free time to revise for your exams. When you're revising for multiple exams it pays to be organised so as not to overwhelm yourself, which could cause you to procrastinate too much.
Break up your days into morning, afternoon, and evening; or you could go even further and break them down into individual hours – whatever works best for you. Plan in what you will revise and when, and remember to plan regular breaks throughout the day too – it's important to stay well hydrated and eat regularly to prevent your blood sugar from dipping and affecting your concentration. Try to give yourself some time off from your revision too; meeting a friend for lunch or going to the cinema one evening can help you to relax and focus better on your revision.
Going away for the full Easter break and neglecting your studies is probably not the best idea, but spending a long weekend exploring a new city in the UK or Europe could be really good for you. A change of scenery can clear your head and help you to refocus on your studies once you get home. Immersing yourself in culture, relaxing with friends, and making some lasting memories will help you to feel calmer as your exams approach.
Summer is typically the time when most students undertake work placements and internships, but there's no rule that says you can't do some work experience at other times of the year too. Why not get in touch with a few companies in a relevant field and see if they would be willing to let you shadow their staff or help out around the office for a few days?
The chances are you won't get paid, but it could be the perfect opportunity to present your CV and make a lasting impression on a potential future employer. Talking to people who are doing the job that you want to do or working in your chosen field can help you to get a better understanding of the day to day demands of the job. That way you can identify if there are any further skills you need to develop, and this may help you to choose your modules next year.
Take some time during your Easter break to plan ahead for the future. Start by deciding how best to use the upcoming summer break; will you work all summer to gain experience and earn money to help you out in the next academic year? Or will you go backpacking round Europe whilst you've got the unique opportunity of not being tied to a full time job and a mortgage?
It's also useful to start thinking about the way that you want your degree course to go, and which modules you want to take next year. Consider what your future career options are and work from there. It also useful to research what societies you can join on campus next year, as these can look good on your CV as well as providing you with the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people.
Between lectures, seminars, essays, and coursework it can be difficult to keep up with your friends who are all equally as busy. During the Easter holidays it's fun to catch up with friends, old and new. Obviously we're not suggesting that you neglect your revision, but no one can study continuously for three weeks!
Plan some lunch dates, evenings out at the cinema, nights out clubbing etc, whatever your favourite method of socialising is. You could even have a few days out to be a tourist in the city you're studying in. Visit some local museums or try out that award-winning restaurant you keep hearing about. Studying hard may help you to achieve academic success, but spending time with friends is good for your spiritual and mental wellbeing.