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Ah, back to school. After a nice break filled with relaxing, family, and friends, how does one get back to this thing called school.? Sure, maybe you’ve made some solid New Year’s resolutions, and maybe you’ve already gave up on half of them (don’t worry, we won’t tell!). Fortunately, Her Campus Oregon has some easy tips to starting the year off right and making this term/year one to remember.

1) Find a routine that works. Easier said than done, right? It’s difficult to get back into the groove of the busy life that school requires, and sometimes it’ll lead to you slacking a little these first few weeks. Mapping out your schedule will help, and by taking on each day piece by piece, you won’t get as overwhelmed by responsibilities (where my workaholics at?). Make sure you work in breaks so that you can catch your breath!

2) Speaking of breaks, make a “me” day. This is a day which will be your self-oriented vacation, and it can’t be a weekend! This whole day, get your normal obligations over with (school, work, etc) and then cash in on some valuable time just for you. For a few hours, put aside your phone and social media outlets to take a long bath, read a book, or catch up on a series you’ve been missing on Netflix. Treat yourself to a nice cup of tea or spend time cooking your favorite dish—just for you. It’s important in our busy lives to put aside some time for yourself and not feel guilty about it; the world will still be there tomorrow!

3) Make a new friend. Face-to-face, in real life. Talk to someone in your class or at work that you haven’t before, and you’ll find that there are actually a lot of cool people at Oregon outside your friend circle. Especially after freshman year, a lot of students are reluctant to break outside their bubbles and say it’s difficult to make new friends. But wait, we go to a school with 20,000 people! If you spend just minutes out of your day talking to someone new, you could discover your future sidekick and/or maid of honor. You never know unless you try!

4) Go outside. I know it’s winter, but we live in an incredibly beautiful place. Have you seen the Willamette this time of year? If you’re like me and the majority of your time outside is spent walking to and from class or work, you’re doing it wrong! Instead of thinking of the outdoors as some obstacle to overcome when getting from point A to point, find someone to go on a weekly walk with, or an outdoorsy friend who can drag you to go hiking, rock climbing, or a number of different sports that continue into the winter. Even just a simple stroll downtown instead of driving will make you feel more accomplished–and there’s great people watching along the way.

Photo by Linda Steller

5) Don’t diet. I know, what? But seriously. The reason why so many dietary resolutions fail is well, they don’t work. A lot of the time you just get beat down and depressed by the restrictions. Next, you cave and binge eat. Then, you cry and feel worse than before. Instead of feeling like that and letting weights and calories run your life, try to keep it simple. Incorporate a greater variety of vegetables into your everyday meals, and not just iceberg lettuce and onions. Take a work out class doing something you love like yoga or Zumba. When you look in the mirror, say something positive out loud to yourself: “My hair looks awesome, and I didn’t even do anything to it!” “I love this color with my skin tone.” “My curves look bomb in this dress.” “I can tell those lunges are making my butt look great. ” Tell your negative Nancy conscience to get lost. With healthier and happier living, you’ll love yourself more than any diet will give you. 

Heather is a senior at the University of Oregon, majoring in advertising. An aspiring copywriter, her dream job would be screenwriting for TV, but for the meantime she works as an office assistant, ad director for Envision magazine, freelance graphic designer, and her favorite, campus correspondent at Her Campus Oregon. She hails from Lake Oswego, Oregon, and loves the quirky side of Oregon: its unique people, unpredictable weather, and amazing music scene. She's a cat lover, avid black coffee drinker, and TV and movie addict.
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