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Getting to campus at the beginning of the year is always a change- whether you’re a first year getting dropped off by your parents for AESOP or preseason, or an upperclassman driving up or getting dropped off for the second, third, or even fourth time.  Going from your summer job, class, or internship to living back on campus with your friends, while fun, can cause you to feel a little homesick or just throw you out of your routine. Being on campus without your friends who are abroad or the seniors from last year makes Bates seem a little, or a lot, different- I know that I felt a little weird (and very excited) being back the first few days.  Here are few tricks to get back into the swing of things that are super easy to try and do!

Make time to call your family and home friends

  • If you’re feeling a little homesick, don’t assume like I did when I went to boarding school that the best way to fix that is to ice out your family and throw yourself completely into your new environment.  While that may work for some people, for others talking to your family can make you feel as though you aren’t missing out on everything going on back home while also helping you not miss traditions or talking with your parents or siblings.  Same goes for your friends- it may be easy to get caught up in seeing your friends on campus once you get back, but it’s important to stay caught up with your friends from home too. A lot goes on in all of your lives, so it’s important to stay caught up with them so you don’t grow too far apart.  Freshman year, I made a point to Facetime or call my family once a week at least to catch up on my siblings’ middle school ~drama~ and sports games, along with everything else going on at home. This helped me a ton, as I was able to go home and not feel like I had been gone that long, as I knew everything that had been going on.

Find a way to get together with all of your friend group

  • If you’re coming back to Bates, it’s a great feeling to have friends already on campus with you.  However, this semester your entire friend group may not have similar schedules that allow you to all hang out like last semester, or new leadership positions or jobs that give them a lot of time to relax.  An easy fix to this is organizing meals like lunch or dinner, or small things like coffee dates in the Den when you all are able to hang out and catch up about your week.

Make Routines

  • This fix is one that is easily given to us by Bates- creating routines by going to classes, getting meals with friends, doing homework in PGill or the lib, or if you’re over 21, looking forward to off-campus traditions like Blue Goose Thursdays can make it easier to get back into the swing of things on campus.  Routines make life seem a lot easier and help to normalize the feeling of being back on campus. If you are struggling even with classes and meals to create a routine, join a club! A lot of clubs have weekly meetings, and club sports often meet every day during the week- if you know you have somewhere to be and to go during the day other than classes, it’s easy to get comfortable and feel like you’re back in the swing of things at Bates.

Meet with Teachers and ARC Tutors

  • Academically, it can be hard transitioning to having no homework to (potentially) lots of work to do.  While you’re getting use to doing all of this, sometimes your grades can dip, but even if they aren’t a great way to get back to the grind is by meeting with professors and the incredible tutors at ARC.  I highly recommend going to both, because while you can get great help by meeting with your professors during office hours, you can also get to form really great relationships with them. Getting to know your professor can be really helpful, especially if you’re looking for a potential internship within the field as they may know specific places for you to apply and help you with your internship applications as they are experts within the field.
A now sophomore at Bates who is probably more passionate about Commons' chicken nugget days and free iced coffee than she is about any class she's taking. Can often be found freaking out over a paper that was left to the last minute in the Classics lounge in Pgill, drowning herself in any form of caffeine in the den or commons, on the floor of her best friend Annie Boyer's room, or somewhere in Rand bingewatching the Office.
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