So I'm a second year Physics and Math major with the long term goal of a PhD in Theoretical Physics or maybe Math. I asked around at the start of this semester whether there was anything available for me in terms of research in the Physics department. I found a professor willing to take me on and he gave me a book to study and told me to get back to him once I'm done. However classes have been keeping me really busy and whenever I'm done with homework and studying for them I'm usually tired and don't want to look at the book. So I've been planning out my year in terms of research and here's what I've been thinking: 1. Start reading the book and whenever I'm done, start the research sometime in the middle or late in the semester. Continue with it full time during the winter break (or start during the winter break if I don't have time this semester), and then back to part-time during spring semester. After that take at least 2 months off from the summer. 2. Focus on classes during the year, and do research full time, or an REU during the summer. My concerns with the first option is that firstly I may end up burdening myself too much with research on top of classes. Secondly, will taking 2 months off and doing nothing physics related look bad, or will the fact that I'd have done research during the year compensate for that? I really don't wanna do the second option because I'm an international student and I really would like to go home for at least 2 months of the 3-3.5 months of the summer (going home for the winter break is not an option). I did so this year, and it was extremely refreshing and I feel like I would need it even more as my courses are much more difficult this year. Not having a break would only be a recipe for burning out and being miserable my third year. So what do you guys suggest? Should I work my butt off during the year and take the summer off or is the second option better?