After a long spring break spent relaxing, reviving, and avoiding homework, coming back to school can be a rude awakening. We’ve all been there–you wake up Monday morning, the first week back to class, and ask yourself one question: “Is this semester over yet?”
Coming back from Spring Break, especially if you’ve done something spectacular, makes the drudgery of school seem especially boring. It’s hard to pay attention in class when you’re imagining long days on the beach!
Knowing how difficult it can be to get back into the swing of things, it’s important to take steps on the first day back to encourage yourself for the last six weeks of hard work (yes, only six weeks left in this year!). Here are a few tips to make the transition a little easier.
- Look forward: Have something to work towards! Setting concrete goals can make it much easier to plan out your semester, and provide a feeling of satisfaction once they’re completed. These goals don’t have to be class-based; in fact, it might make you feel more grounded if you make a goal outside of the college grind. For example, you might plan to run 5k race in May. To get to this goal, you could plan out four days of running each week, in increasing intervals. Having a goal to shoot for helps to structure your day, and provide motivation to keep going.
- Do better together: One of the best things about coming back to campus after a long break is the reunion with your friends. Take time out this week to have dinner together, go for a walk, or just chill out. This extra dose of positivity will quickly remind you why being at college is actually great.
- Set yourself up: Begin each day with an intention. This may sound very yoga-ish, but setting up a goal for the day can center you and help bolster you through common frustrations. Begin each morning with a goal for the day; whenever things begin to go wrong, or you need a pick-me-up, remind yourself of the day’s intention. For example, I might begin my day with a wish to remain in the moment. When I begin to get stressed about graduation during my 11 a.m., I’ll think back to the day’s intention, let go of my stress, and focus on being in the classroom and joining in the discussion.
- Treat yourself: Obviously, college students don’t have thousands of dollars to splurge on fancy spa treatments or exotic rest retreats. But during the stressful first week back, it’s important to take time for yourself. Indulge in a cheap face mask and a bubble bath, or take time out from homework to go play Ultimate Frisbee on the quad. End your day with a piece of dark chocolate and a cup of tea. Take a little time to spoil yourself, and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the next challenges this week provides.
- Don’t put it off: Though it’s incredibly tempting, now isn’t the time to procrastinate. It’s easy to go from a week of doing nothing, to another week of putting off assignments and skipping class. But that kind of negativity puts the next six weeks off to a bad start. Instead, pull through the hard work of this first week, and save those absences and excuses for later in the semester, when you might actually need them (like during an illness, or a job interview). Showing up now will make life much easier later.
- Mark it up: If you don’t have a calendar, now’s the time to invest. Get one that inspires you, and begin to fill out the rest of the semester’s activities now. The next six weeks will go by incredibly quickly, and the slew of “finals events” often takes us by surprise. Make sure to mark everything out now. This gives you the added incentive of seeing the exciting upcoming events all laid out before you–again, something to look forward to!