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Three strategies to help you take on spring semester

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

A second-semester freshman’s take on change, adjusting and enjoying this spring

If I had one word to describe freshman year of college, I would pick whirlwind. First semester, students show up and are immediately swept up in a frenzy of activities, people and places. Sometimes exciting, often overwhelming, the months of August to December are full of a plethora of different experiences that rarely seem to slow. Yet personally, I loved it. I thrived on the newness of it all, and the assortment of different opportunities that constantly appeared. After going back for winter break, I thought I wouldn’t be able to wait to return. However, being at home was a very refreshing and calming experience, and coming back to school felt a bit more jarring than expected. As exciting as it was to now have a solid foundation at school, college suddenly felt very different. Things slowed down and calmed, and although this was good, it also gave me the time I had likely been avoiding to think about missing my family or home. Despite this, I worked to find ways to adjust and settle into a new pace of life with eagerness and excitement. Clearly, my perspective is based on my own experiences and perspectives, but these three tips are what helped me the most going into the spring.

1. Routine

I am typically fairly middle of the road when it comes to needing a routine. I am not someone who thrives on too rigid of a schedule, yet I need general structure in my day. Coming back to school, I found myself relying on having things to do and places to go, and specific times to get done all that I needed to. Having a routine helped give me motivation and stability which was very important in readjusting to a new schedule. It also gave me things to look forward to and prepare for. 

2. Trying Something New

Despite the peace I felt in developing a consistent routine, I found myself wanting to try something different to distinguish this semester from the last. For me this was volunteering. It isn’t a huge commitment, but an activity I go to once a week that has introduced new people and experiences into my life. Whether it’s big or small, adding something new can help create a fresh perspective and outlook that I have greatly appreciated.

3. Rest

Finally, I found I needed to allow myself to rest. This was a hard one for me. If it isn’t clear already, I typically like to stay fairly active and busy as it helps me feel more productive and accomplished. However, it is important to take a break and slow down. More than that, it is important to give yourself the permission to do so without feeling guilty. This is easier said than done with excessive amounts of school work and other commitments, but is nonetheless important to prioritize and make consistent time for. Resting, whether in the form of reading, sleeping or something else, has helped me to gather my thoughts and feel more capable to take on what’s ahead. 

Overall, spring semester was an adjustment I didn’t entirely expect. However, it has been one I have come to enjoy, and I am working to find a balance between routines, trying new things, resting and other priorities to feel the most calm and capable as the school year continues to progress. 

Mallory Vaudo

Wisconsin '27

Hi! My name is Mallory and I am a freshman at the University of Wisconsin majoring in International Studies. I grew up in northern Virginia in a suburb of DC. In my free time I can be found reading, running, trying a new coffee shop or spending time outdoors.