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Returning back to school after winter break is a challenging task. After you are finally settled into living back at home, you have to uproot again and move back into your dorm. When changing environments from your bedroom at home to a dorm room, your lifestyle and routine have to change accordingly. As I have made this move many times, I have learned some tricks that make the transition easier. 

To-Do Lists and Schedules 

I have found that when making a list of tasks you want to accomplish, that makes it easier to manage and complete them in a timely fashion. I have also learned that seeing everything that the day holds for you, all in one place makes it less overwhelming and more organized. 

Time Management and Self-Care

Budgeting your time is essential to getting back into the routine of your college life. Making time to hang out with friends, study, exercise, and relax may be daunting, but when planned and thought-out, all is possible. Carving out time in your day for yourself, whether it be watching Netflix or going to the gym, is important for your mental health and should be prioritized. Managing all your commitments at school may be stressful and a big change, however, when budgeting time and making plans they become more attainable.

Talking with your Friends and Family 

Maintaining a support system and communicating with them is important to your mental health and success at school. Everyone feels homesick and has bad days, but talking with others about your emotions can unburden you and give you an outlet to feel better. It is important to know that you’re not alone and speaking with someone else about your emotions can greatly improve your mood and relieve stress.


Exercising can greatly impact your mental health and attitude towards the day. By going to the gym, going for a run, doing yoga, or taking a walk, you give yourself the opportunity to clear your mind, while also moving your body. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is much harder at college, but when done, you will feel better both mentally and physically. 

Just remember that everyone is in the same place as you! We are all stressed and nervous about starting the Spring semester, but utilize these tips, talk with your friends and family, and I’m sure you will have a great upcoming semester!  

Kaitlyn Hennig

Manhattan '23

I am in my sophomore year as a psychology major at Manhattan College.
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