The big question: whether or not to take time off during a postgraduate degree to take a vacation . The rigour and effort you actually put into a course should really warrant a holiday, shouldn't it? Or will taking a vacation hinder your progress and ultimately make you lose focus? It is time to look at the pros and cons of a planned holiday.
Pros of a planned vacation: A vacation can clear your mind and ultimately blow all of the cobwebs away. Taking planned time off can be instrumental in decreasing stress levels. If you are undertaking a postgraduate degree where the intensity of the programme is getting to you , then time away may refuel the proverbial tank. For some of us, jetting off often is the catharsis we have be longing for.
A planned vacation could also be to a place of interest - somewhere directly related to your studies. Whilst taking in the sights, you could simultaneously be concentrating on your studies. You could be exerting as little energy as possible and learning at the same time – superb! If you are prepared to organise a trip that benefits you both socially and academically, then you can definitely enjoy yourself. Learning and having fun is the best way to de-stress.
Moreover, it gives you something to look forward to and something to work towards. You must allow yourself to see light at the end of the never-ending academic tunnel.
Cons of a planned vacation: There are some drawbacks to planning a holiday whilst studying for a postgraduate degree, which you should be aware of. Academia at this level requires complete effort in all areas and time away may scupper this. Many postgraduate students find themselves devoting a significant proportion of time to their work and scheduling in a holiday could potentially hinder the academic process.
Postgraduate degrees require attention, devotion and focus. Some believe a scheduled or even an unscheduled getaway may be an unnecessary hindrance. Another disadvantage is the potential cost of a holiday and the serious dint it would put in postgraduate student’s bank account. Your wallet or purse needs economic stability, not the financial damage a holiday could incur.
So, what is the best option?
Obviously, you have to go through the clichéd rigmarole of weighing up both sides of the argument. You do what is best for you at the time. If taking a holiday relaxes you and provides stress relief, then do it. However, if you are a worrier and you believe taking a holiday would divert attention away from your studies, then stay well away!
Nevertheless, relaxation must be pencilled into your schedule at some point. If you always prioritise writing essays, undertaking research and in some cases taking seminars, then you will come unstuck. If you are not one for holidaying, at least allow yourself to indulge in some ‘me’ time. This is valuable time devoted to the activities that you enjoy doing. Remember, it is not healthy to spend all of your waking time on your academic commitments.
Useful Links Gap year information Making the most of your time out 5 free postgrad ideas for summer fun Planning your summer as a postgrad
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