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Starting off on the right foot: A quick guide on how to make this year the one  

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

By: Katie Werner

I started off the beginning of the new school year in a bit of a motivation slump. I was NOT ready to readjust to the academic mindset that I had just a few months ago, but I figured my way out and I have a few tips to share with you! Getting back into the school groove after a long, and hopefully relaxing summer can be hard, but through keeping a few things in mind, it can be a healthy and easy transition. 

Use a calendar

I know, I’m sure your parents stressed the topic of scheduling ad-nauseum (I know mine did!) The only thing the words “plan” or “program” make me want to do is roll my eyes. We’re in college now, we think we have everything figured out. However, as much as I hate to say it, I cannot stress the importance of a calendar enough. It’s a super helpful organizational tool for  your day-to-day schedule, homework due dates, birthdays, and general reminders. Whenever something comes up, I immediately put it into my Apple calendar. If you think you’re more likely to remember something after physically writing it down, there are tons of options online or in the bookstore! Without my calendar I wouldn’t know what class to go to next, when my next exam is, or when my freshman year roommate’s birthday is. It’s a super efficient and mindless way to keep everything organized, making for a great start to the year. 

Stay active 

Vermont is a natural playground and there’s a wide range of things to do. From taking a walk along the waterfront, to biking in the Northeast Kingdom at Kingdom Trails there’s something for everyone. If the weather is groggy, the fitness center is a great (free!) resource that has everything you need to get your body moving. The fitness center also offers relatively inexpensive group fitness classes, including Mat Pilates and Candlelit Yoga! Another option would be to look into intramural or varsity sports teams- depending on your level of skill and commitment. Not only will you get a great workout in, you’ll meet a ton of amazing people. At UVM there is no shortage of options, we have sports like soccer and lacrosse and also some less familiar ones like rugby and squash. Getting your body moving is super important for your physical and mental health, which is key for a successful semester.  

Try something new 

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to explore the different clubs, activities, and experiences UVM and Burlington have to offer. At UVM there are over 200 recognized clubs, meaning endless options to choose from and no excuse to not check something out! On campus you can try bouldering, boxing, or even enroll in an intro to sailing course! The UVM Bored website is another way to look into events happening on and off campus, a lot of them are free making them very accessible. Trying new things can introduce you to new friends and lifelong skills.

Always have a book 

Before this past summer, I wouldn’t be able to tell you the last time I read a book cover to cover for pleasure. I found myself reaching for my phone or computer to occupy my free time, until I picked up The Enigma of Room 622 by Joël Dicker. I’m not sure why this book kickstarted my reading again but I’ve had a new book lined up ever since I finished it. If you’re a fan of murder mysteries, this is a perfect page turner set in a luxury hotel in Switzerland. Reading is a great way to healthily unwind and relax your mind. I highly recommend putting your phone out of reach for the night and instead read a few pages. With this being said, here’s a list of my top choices from my recent reads: 

Normal People by Sally Rooney

The Help by Kathryn Stockett 

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld 

Your Table is Ready by Micheal Cecchi-Azzolina 

Zero Days by Ruth Ware 

 Happy reading! 

Stick to a routine  

Having a fixed routine throughout the day is key to feeling on top of everything. First of all, go to your classes! I know waking up for the 8:30 class that doesn’t take attendance is the last thing you want to do, but it will ensure success in the class and also start your day off right. Speaking of starting off your day right, try to make a morning routine. It can be as simple as doing your skincare and brushing your teeth or making your bed! Having small achievements throughout the day creates a positive mindset and overall happier days. To unwind at night, take some time to take off your makeup, journal or read. Have you ever found yourself scrolling for way longer than you wanted on TikTok? Putting down your phone at night helps with a more consistent and restful sleep schedule, improving your energy, mood, and overall health for the future. 

My final piece of advice: Carve out time for yourself 

Don’t overwork yourself, adjustments can be hard so give yourself some slack. School can be super overwhelming, so be sure to listen to your body when it needs a break. Have a spa night with friends, go for a long walk, or watch a cozy movie! We work hard, so make sure to reward yourself!  

Edited by Paisley Broadhurst

Hi! I'm a second year majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Art History! I've always loved writing and am excited to use Her Campus as a creative outlet and fun way to share my thoughts :)