What to Do When You Have the First Semester Blues

From the beginning of your summer, you start counting down the days until you’re back on campus. Summer is a bore with nothing to do but sit around your house or work long hours at the job you may or may not secretly hate. Nothing seems better than getting back to school with all your friends, with all of the parties and all of the great things college has to offer - but what happens when it's not all that it's cracked up to be? What happens when by the second week of the semester you’re craving your bed and your Mom’s homemade cooking? This is what I call the First Semester Blues.

The First Semester Blues (or FSB) is a sudden fit of sadness that grasps you in its grips within the first few weeks of the semester. It can be caused by anything, from the anxiety of adjusting to a college environment to the overloading stress of schoolwork. Whatever the case may be, the FSB always makes you want to lay in your bed cuddled in your blanket like a burrito crying while simultaneously watching your latest Netflix binge. You ache for a good hug from Mom and Dad or a cuddle session with your dogs. Surprisingly, you miss those boring summer nights where you and you friends stayed in and watched old movies. Shockingly, you miss the thing that you so eagerly prayed to be over. Ultimately, the FSB is just a synonym for being homesick. I know what you’re thinking, this sounds like a freshman problem, but, believe it or not, everyone goes through it. I would know, because as a sophomore I have a bad case of the FSB.

I started showing symptoms of FSB in the second week of the semester. By then I had already filled my schedule with day-to-day activities that would keep me going. On Tuesday and Thursday I have Acapella from 9 to 11. Every Sunday I have Chapter for my sorority from 4 to 6. On Mondays around 2:30 I have a weekly tutoring session. Let’s not forget that I am a student first, so somehow with all of these events I squeezed my daunting homework in between. My planner and calendar were already filled with dates, and my shoes were already worn out from running around campus. By the time my second Friday came of the semester, I was already sleep deprived, food deprived, agitated, and ready to pull out my hair. In other words, I was struggling. On the weekends I would try to get one step ahead, but when Monday came around and by the time I finished my four classes I was three steps back. By the third week, my FSB was at its peak.

I was sitting in the library when I checked my planner and realized that I had a test in my next class that I hadn’t studied for. In a snap of a finger and the blink of an eye, I lost it. I ran into the nearest bathroom, and with shaking fingers I dialed my mom’s number and told her all my problems while crying enough tears to fill a small lake. 

When the FSB strikes, it strikes hard leaving you feeling like you're left in pieces. But many don’t realize that the FSB actually has multiple cures.

1. Realize you’re not alone. Even though you may feel alone, the FSB spreads like wildfire in the first couple of weeks of the semester and even if they aren’t showing it, I bet some of your closet friends have a case. Once you realize that you’re not the only one going through this hurdle, you start feeling better.  Once you find your FSB buddy, talk it out. Venting out all your problems to someone who is going through the same ordeal is the best medicine.

2. Nothing ever stays the same. You will get through this. This, like every other rough patch that has happened in your life, will end. Hold on to that hope, go day-by-day, hour-by-hour, whatever gets you through!

3. Plan a trip home. The number one cure to homesickness is going home…shocker! After I finished crying to my mom in the bathroom I planned a weekend home and I came back refreshed. Sometimes being home reminds you why you’ve picked this path. Being surrounded by family is like a charger to a battery.  By time you heading back to school you feel anew and fresh ready to take on the FSB. Like I said, sometimes all you need is a hug and a good cuddle session with your dogs.

4. Eat your heart out. Probably the best advice I can give you to beat FSB. Eat! Eat like you’ve never snacked before! FSB can leave you drained and hungry so give in to temptation and eat that extra taco. You deserve those McDonald French fries.

The First Semester Blues can happen to the best of us. Just remember that there are ways to combat it, and you’ll be back to your usual self in no time!