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Returning to “School Mode” After a Long Break

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Everybody knows exactly how it feels to come back from an amazing, and long break, then struggle to get back into the right mindset to resume classes. It can be incredibly difficult to return to the studious version of yourself that you were before break, but thankfully, there are some things you can do to mitigate this stressful transition. 

One thing that will help keep all coursework in check is a sturdy planner or calendar. Everybody has their own preferences as to what type of planner suits them best. For many, a daily planner with plenty of space for assignment due dates is optimal, but this is not the only option. Others prefer monthly calendars, which come in all sizes, ranging from a pocket planner to a desk planner that allows for much more room to write down events and assignment due dates. A digital calendar, like Google Calendar, is a good portable option since it can travel anywhere, and can be accessed or contributed to from your smartphone. Google Calendar can also be synced to most academic assignment interfaces, such as Canvas. This will ensure that all assignments will be displayed on their due dates in the calendar, which is an ideal option for those who tend to mix up or forget due dates on their own. There are even planners with habit trackers or additional space for personal goals to suit anybody’s ambitious desires!

Another way to return to a studious mindset after break is by incorporating healthy and productive habits into your day. Waking up and going to sleep at a consistent time can do wonders for your mental well-being. With this being said, try creating a morning and bedtime routine that allows you to reset before and after a productive day. Maybe this means waking up with meditation, or doing some bedtime yoga. Whatever this may look like for you, a routine allows the body and mind to adapt to new living conditions, such as those experienced when returning to school. In addition, drinking enough water, moving your body, and eating right contribute greatly to your success in class. While these tend to be overlooked, you will likely have trouble keeping up with a growing course load if you are not mentally and physically well.

Even though it’s cold out, try to get outside for some fresh air each day. While this sounds crazy, it’s proven to help brain function and improve mental health. This will be much easier to practice once the weather warms up, but this lack of fresh air and sunlight can make the return to classes that much more difficult. Incorporating outdoor walks into a daily routine could lead to enhanced memory function and decreased feelings of stress, and it can also be a moment for you to collect your thoughts and plan out the day ahead. So, although it can be tempting to take your car from your dorm to your class, if possible, that walk may be the most relaxing and beneficial part of your day. 

One final piece of advice is to enjoy yourself! Several years down the line, you’ll look back on your time in college and remember the fun things: going out on a weeknight with your best friends, the brunches, and all the late night laughs. While coursework and exams are important, they should not consume your life. It is important to find a healthy balance between assignments and studying, and enjoying the time you have with those around you. College doesn’t last forever, so make the most of it! Using these tips to master time management and practice mental well being will help you transition back to school living, without compromising on the fun parts of being back on campus.

Avery is a sophomore Economics major, with minors in Business and French, at Siena College. Naturally, being from Massachusetts, she’s a big fan of the Bruins, Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots! Some of her favorite things include hiking and adventuring with her friends. Keep up with her adventures by following her on Instagram @avery_knous!
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