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How to Reset over the Break before Returning to School

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

Finally, a vaccine has been approved and we can all slowly let out our breath as countries around the globe begin to pull themselves out of the mess caused by COVID-19. This alone is reason to be hopeful for the possibilities of semester two. Although restrictions may still be in place, it is more than fair to be optimistic that they will be loosened and eventually be dissolved altogether. In the meantime, take the break and restrictions at home to recover from semester one, prepare for semester two, and most importantly, to simply relax. 

Since I attended a boarding school in high school, I have experienced years of returning home for the holidays after months at school, and the sheer bliss you feel when walking through your front door. I have spent breaks doing everything from sleeping 14 hours a night, to trying to cram in all the work I shrugged off during the semester. These experiences have taught me a thing or two, and I want to share the routines I have compiled, routines that not only set me up for being more successful when I return to school, but also help me thoroughly enjoy my time away. 

Take a break, seriously. 

A break is called a break for a reason. Being kind to yourself is so important, so allow yourself to catch up on sleep, Netflix, or even your favourite hobbies you lost track of during the term. You’ve deserved it. There is psychological research that has gone into the importance of rest, proving that it leads to more productive work-time in the long-run. So, not only is taking a break vital to recovering from the term you have just endured, it is also key to future success. That being said, there is a fine line between letting yourself relax and falling off track all together. I have learned that taking the first few days to unwind is better than having no routine every day of the break. By completely abandoning the structure that is vital to surviving university, you may risk struggling to regain that routine. 

Keep your mind healthy. 

To be clear, by ‘keeping your mind healthy’ I don’t mean changing your diet, working out, or getting ahead in your classes. To me, keeping my mind healthy means reading books that I enjoy and haven’t had time to read during the term, watching documentaries, or catching up on my favourite podcasts. These are all things that keep me productive, happy, and my mind sharp throughout the break. 

Woman reading a book in bed
Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels


Journaling is something I have started in the past two years, and has seriously been a game changer when it comes to breaks. Every time I come home, I practice gratitude by writing down all the people, places, things, and memories that made me happy during the term. Then, I write down everything that I am looking forward to when I return and my goals for what I want to achieve moving forward. Not only do these simple lists make me smile as I recall all of my positive experiences, but they are a great way to get me excited and motivated for returning to campus. It is easy to recall your student accommodation as a place of stress and anxiousness, but it is far far more beneficial to focus on everything good to have come out of your time there instead. Journaling has been so key in keeping me positive throughout this past semester, but is also so great to help set you off strong and on the right foot from the beginning in the semester to come. 

girl journaling
Photo by picjumbo_com from Pixabay

Sophia Khan

St. Andrews '24

Hi there! My name is Sophia and I am a Canadian studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. I'm currently studying Sustainable Development and Management. I love to travel and have visited over 20 countries! I enjoy any topics in the sphere of health, wellness and fitness.
The University of St Andrews chapter of Her Campus!