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How to Stay Focused & Productive This Holiday Season

by South University
December 5, 2018
A photo of two South University nursing students studying a piece of medical equipment.

The holidays can be a time of celebration and fun, but they’re also known for being hectic and stressful. If you’re already busy with work and school during the rest of the year, here’s how you can better manage your time, focus, and productivity this holiday season.

Prioritize wisely

With everything going on this holiday season, clear your mind by getting your to-dos out of your head and onto paper. Whether it’s about school, work, or your personal life, write it down and decide if it should be done, today, this week, or later this month. You may be able to delegate some personal tasks to a helpful friend, family member, or spouse. If you explain that school is making you busier than normal and that you need to stay focused on working toward your goals, you’ll likely find someone willing to pitch in.

Make sure you’re also strategic in what you say yes to. For example, you likely don’t need to attend an event every weekend. To stay focused, you first must choose what to focus on and prioritize what matters.

Break down big projects

When you’re feeling overwhelmed by a school or work project and you already have a long list of holiday to-dos, skipping straight to the holidays is tempting. Instead, stop procrastinating and break down your project into manageable tasks. Ask yourself what is the first thing you need to do for your project. The second? Third? Keep going until you have a clear plan. Then work your way through each part and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing each step.

Dividing time between your project and holiday list is fine as long as you’re not ignoring your project entirely.

“Give yourself time each day to work on your project until it’s done, so that you can get to your other priorities,” says Alexandra Young, Student Services Manager for South University.

Keep others informed

“The holidays are a wonderful time to get together with friends and family,” Young says. “However, you should let them know when you’ll be taking time before your gatherings for schoolwork. This allows you to stay ahead of the due dates so you won’t be worrying about assignments while you spend time with loved ones.”

Communicating in advance also sets expectations, so that you have fewer interruptions and can finish your work faster. The same goes for telling the people who live with you, especially if they’re taking time off work or your children are out of school while you’re at home working. Let people know what you’re doing and for how long so you can stay focused.

Shop smart

A photo of a South University student using a computer.

Whether you’re shopping online or in person, it’s easy to get caught up browsing the pages or aisles without realizing how much time has passed. Before shopping, create a to-do list and set a limit for how long you’ll shop.

Online shopping also makes it tempting to buy things as they come to mind. But don’t let shopping distract you from your work. Instead, decide what day and time you’ll shop and add it to your calendar. When you think of something to buy, simply add it to your list or online calendar event, so that you can do all your shopping at once.

On shopping days, stick to your list and keep an eye on the clock. For an even more productive day, squeeze in some reading or an assignment in before or after shopping.

Take advantage of days off

Over the holidays, you’ll have some days off class, but you can still work on coursework over your break. Young suggests, “Try to find time for readings or submitting a discussion response before big events.” (That way there’s no need to leave early and you can fully enjoy yourself.)

If you’re caught up, check your syllabus for upcoming work and find ways to get ahead. This helps you to stay in the routine of doing schoolwork, so that you’re still in the zone and ready to keep learning when your classes resume.

Enjoying the Holiday Season

Whatever tips you use for how to stay focused this holiday season, make sure you give yourself time for fun and family.

“Going to school can even be a great talking point to share with those who care about you! Let them know what assignments you’re working on during this festive time and share what assignments you really like,” says Young.

“Don’t look at school as a hurdle through the holidays; instead see it as a great accomplishment that you are progressing toward something positive!”

by South University
December 5, 2018
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South University announces the return of their men’s basketball team!

by South University
March 31, 2015

South University expects to assemble a men’s basketball team for the 2016 season and will compete as a Division III team within the Great South Athletic Conference. The former team, The South University Challengers, played their first season in 1983 and, although they only continued for five seasons, were ranked eighth in the country in 1987 by the National Junior College Athletic Association.

With excitement of the local Savannah Storm team growing, the university hopes to contribute to the excitement of the sport and looks forward to seeing the Challengers back on the court again!

The 1987-1988 Team

Interested in joining the team?

Try outs will begin in August 2015 and the university will look to have a head coach in place by the end of July. Any students looking to join the basketball team can inquire to!

by South University
March 31, 2015
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10 Facts about the Business behind Valentine’s Day

by South University
February 11, 2015
Valentine's Day Flowers

Are you planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? 

Every February, couples, friends, families, and school children plan to spend the 14th of the month celebrating love, friendship, and togetherness. In other words, this Saturday, expect restaurants to be packed, roses to reach their annual sky-high prices, and slim pickings in the card aisle of your local drugstore.

Whether you love the holiday or hate it, there’s no denying that Valentine’s Day is big business. Curious how big? Here are 10 things we learned from a January 2015 survey conducted by the National Retail Federation.

1. More people are celebrating than not. Almost 55% of survey respondents said they will partake in Valentine’s Day festivities this year.

2. Men plan to spend more than women. While women expect to spend about $60 on the holiday this year, men are prepared to shell out something closer to $130.

3. Pets are getting love too. Four-legged friends won’t be left out this year, as over 20% of people said they’ll be buying their pet a gift, spending $25 on average.

4. Department stores will attract the biggest crowds. 37% of shoppers plan to purchase gifts at a department store, followed by 35% at a discount store, 25% online, 19% at the florist, 13% at other small businesses, and 12% at a jewelry store.

5. Candy is the most popular gift. 53% of people plan to give candy this year while 51% will also be giving greeting cards. 38% of people will gift flowers, 16% clothing, and 15% gift card/certificate. 35% will have an evening out on the town! This is the first year since at least 2007 that greeting cards haven’t been the most popular gift.

6. People will spend the most on jewelry. Those giving jewelry to their loved ones plan to spend the most, at an average of $172, followed by $90 on clothing, $78 on an evening out, $74 on a gift card/certificate, $42 on flowers, $24 on candy and $15 on greeting cards.

7. Some people who aren’t celebrating still buy gifts. While they’re boycotting the holiday itself, 3% of those not celebrating reported plans to purchase anti-Valentine’s Day gifts.

8. Valentine’s Day is losing some of its luster. While slightly more people are celebrating Valentine’s Day this year than last, the number of people participating in the day has sharply declined from 63% in 2007 to 55% this year.

9. People are spending more than ever. While fewer people are celebrating the day, these people are spending more than ever. In 2007, shoppers only spent an average of $88.17 on the day — nearly $8.50 less than this year’s $96.63 average.

10. Southerners might be the most romantic. More people in the south plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day than any other part of the country.

by South University
February 11, 2015
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Announcing the Holiday Treasure Hunt Winners!

by South University, Online Programs
January 12, 2015

It’s what you’ve been waiting for – the time to name the winners of the Holiday Treasure Hunt is finally here! First, we’d like to thank all of the students who participated in the Holiday Treasure Hunt at South University from December 26 to 31, 2014! We had so many thoughtful submissions and it was hard to select the top four participants.

Holiday treasure hunt logo

Meet the Winners

A panel of judges carefully reviewed all answers and chose the 4 winners below. Congratulations to each of these students!

Debra Kincaid
Associate in Business Administration student
Winner of a Samsung Chromebook

Christine Davis
Bachelor of Science in Nursing student
Winner of a Samsung Chromebook

Elisabeth Jackman
Bachelor in Business Administration student
Winner of a Samsung Chromebook

Kelly Porrey
MBA in Healthcare Administration student
Winner of a Samsung Chromebook

Contest Rules

To participate, students had to visit our Facebook page and locate the daily clue. Then, students followed the clue to find the keyword. This year, to find all four keywords, participants needed to visit the Campus Common events calendar, our LinkedIn Page, the Career Resources page on the Campus Common and our Blog. After finding the daily keyword, students had to return to Facebook and use the keyword to answer the question posted in our daily status update.

Not sure if you got the keyword right every day? The answers are below!

12/26: Family
12/29: Goals
12/30: Education
12/31: Caption

Official contests rules are available here. Thanks again to everyone who played!

by South University, Online Programs
January 12, 2015
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Here for the Holiday Treasure Hunt?

by South University, Online Programs
December 31, 2014

The keyword for December 31 is...

Not sure how to play? Never heard of the Holiday Treasure Hunt?

Check out our blog post from last week to learn how to participate, see the available prizes and read the official terms and conditions.

Good luck!!

by South University, Online Programs
December 31, 2014
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