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Stress less: staying focused during holidays

by The Stylus
Wed, Dec 5th 2018 04:00 pm
Photo Credit: Elliott LaPoint/EDITORIAL CARTOONIST
Staying on task Taking time away from classes can be taxing on students, since the course load doesn't let up during break. Regardless of potential distractions, students must maintain their academic lifestyle.
Photo Credit: Elliott LaPoint/EDITORIAL CARTOONIST Staying on task Taking time away from classes can be taxing on students, since the course load doesn't let up during break. Regardless of potential distractions, students must maintain their academic lifestyle.

For most, going away to college is a well needed change of venue. People decide to study away from home to escape from the normalcy that is their hometown, escaping the site of the same places and faces where they grew up. Getting away can be a fresh start that allows  for the exploration of other places and, for the first time in their lives, be independent. The issue is, when students go back home it is hard for them to sustain the same amount of energy and focus on college as when they’re on campus. 
The College at Brockport is located in a small town with a quiet lifestyle. So, it’s easier to focus on school and make sure you get good grades because there isn’t much of a distraction. Most students come from cities or towns with a lot of other events or situations surrounding them. 
Students from cities like Buffalo, Rochester and New York City are surrounded by some of the biggest distractions; three cities with people on every corner, a lot of entertainment and a limitless possibility of events to attend. This can make it difficult for students to focus when they go back home and try to remind themselves that they are still in college.
We, here at The Stylus, understand how difficult it is to try to focus when you just want to relax and, for days, weeks or even months, forget you go to school. We are here to remind you to keep your eye on the prize. 
Most students go home and throw their book bag on the floor and do not touch it until they get back to Brockport. This tendency can really set you back when you have an essay or a project due right when you get back from break or even during the time spent away from school. 
During this past Thanksgiving break, students had the opportunity to go home, enjoy great food and be with family. While this is the time to do that, it would have been a good idea to use those days that are not occupied to do something beneficial regarding school work.
Picking up your laptop and going on Blackboard to check homework is due in the upcoming days or starting an assignment a couple of weeks early to prepare yourself for the upcoming storm that is finals week. 
We understand that it is easier said than done. When you are back home the outpouring messages of “I miss you,” “we need to see each other before you leave,” “come over to my house” and “are you back in town?” can be very distracting. When you have people coming up to you saying they want to see you, it’s easy to forget  school work ever existed. 
On top of that, the amount of money you spend while you’re back home can really set you back. For most students from big cities, there are stores on every corner begging them to spend money. 
From clothing stores to basic convenience stores, there is always something calling you to spend more money. So now, you just spent over $100 on clothes, your bank account is as low as it has been in months and you need to pay for a trip back up to school. 
Not to mention, by the time you come back up to Brockport, you realize that you have little to no money for your food and living expenses. 
The Stylus wants to help you out as much as we can. Here are some tips to help you stay focused when you are back home.
• Isolate yourself: it will be hard to remove yourself from your friends and family when all you want to do is spend time with them, but let’s be real, they can be major distractions. Take an hour or two and go into your room or go somewhere quiet where you can do homework or read a book if you have to. By giving yourself these one or two hours, you have now filled your brain with well needed knowledge and focus, which will keep your head above the water for the time being.
• Set up reminders: By setting a reminder, you have told your brain it’s time to get out of “chill mode” and focus on the task at hand. 
It is really difficult to try to remember that there is a four-page essay due the same day you get back from break when you have just heard that there is a party going on Saturday night. By setting up this reminder, you have shifted the focus to the essay and put the partying to the side, or at least on hold. 
• Maintain school sleep schedule: This will probably be the hardest thing for any college student to do.
 No college student wants to wake up early on a day that they don’t have to. But the biggest issue with going back home is that you are now going to sleep really late and waking up at whatever time of the day. 
This really messes up your sleep schedule because when you go back to school, you are now not able to go to sleep as early as you used to. Which makes this difficult for those early classes you’re already having trouble waking up for.
 So, try not to go to sleep at four in the morning and waking up at four in the afternoon because you are only messing yourself up.
These tips will help you stay on track when you go back home. 
Remember that school comes first whether it is here at Brockport or back home. So, next time you go on break don’t lose your focus and keep your eyes on the prize.