It feels like only yesterday I walked out of my last final, took the bus to my apartment, grabbed my bags and headed home for an almost four-week winter break. Unfortunately, Winter quarter has begun and it has already slapped most of us back into the sad reality of college students. Getting back into the work mode that college demands is extremely difficult for most students because our brains do not understand that the quarter has begun.
Fall Quarter Grades: Many students are coming back from a very difficult Fall quarter that might have not ended with the grades they were expecting. No worries though! New quarter, new you. Focus on the present and understand that first quarter can be very rough on everyone, however it does not mean that this quarter will be the same. Try figuring out what went wrong Fall quarter and how it might have not allowed you to focus on school and give it your best effort. Once the problem has been identified, think about what you can do this quarter to get rid of it and how you can replace it with something positive that will help you thrive Winter quarter!
No Week 0: Getting back into the work mode that college demands can be very hard to do at the beginning of Winter quarter. All you can think of is how much you hate college, how much you want to go back home and how much you want to just drop out of college and never look back. There is no welcome week so students must jump into the classes and the workload immediately, but although your body knows it is time to work, it seems your brain is two steps behind figuring that out. Once it does, and hopefully soon, it gets easier to force yourself to sit down and work or study.
Homesickness: Being far from home can be a challenge for some students and because of this, leaving home to start another quarter can cause strong feelings of homesickness. Sometimes it is stronger than coming back from Summer break for Fall quarter because it is so long that it can get boring towards the end. Yet, Winter break is short enough to leave us wanting more break time rather than long enough to have us wishing we had something to do. It is just a matter of time and getting used to being back into the routine of classes, work, etc that does not look very appealing right now.
Sleeping Habits: If someone claims to have kept a good sleeping schedule over break, they are definitely lying to everyone around them and to themselves. It is one of the hardest things to do during a break and one of the hardest things to deal with once school starts again. Although sleeping really late is not uncommon during the quarter because of the workload, the big difference is that during break there are no classes to attend to during the day. Because of this, we tend to sleep really late knowing we can sleep in, but that is not the case once school has begun. Now our bodies are used to sleeping very late which might sound like a good thing, but they are not used to waking up early and heading for class in the morning. This affects how much you pay attention in class, that is if you even make it there.
Whether you are coming back from a difficult Fall quarter, feel homesick, are already sleep deprived, etc. remember that it is not just a new quarter, but also a new year. Set goals for yourself that you want to accomplish this quarter and tell friends, families or anyone that can hold you accountable for those goals. Check in with yourself on those goals as time goes by and you are sure to succeed. Just do your best and everything else will fall into place.