The length of winter break is both a blessing and a curse. After studying for finals and finishing lengthy research papers, presentations, and research projects a break is much needed. And of course being home for the holidays with friends, family, and loved ones is always exciting.
Winter break for me was always about 4 weeks long and by the end of it I was definitely ready to be back on campus and settle into my routine. However, after weeks of no exams, reading assignments, and class schedules to follow, the first few weeks back seemed to drag on.
Not only are you out of practice after a few weeks of celebration and much needed down time but your class times and work load has likely changed making it even harder to re-adjust.
Here are a few tips for getting back into a routine and easily transitioning into a new semester:
- Get back to campus early: Getting back to campus a few days before classes actually start will give you a chance to get settled, unpack, and organize for your first day back.
- Acclimate your sleep schedule: On break you were probably able to sleep in and stay up late but with classes starting that may not be an option anymore. A few days before classes start try to fall back into a good sleeping routine, especially if you have early morning classes.
- Plan ahead: A lot of professors will upload or send out the syllabus ahead of time. If the syllabus is available go through each of them and add assignments and exams to your planner. This way you have a good idea of what to expect those first few weeks back.
- Know your schedule: Obviously you know what classes you signed up for and when they are (at least I hope) but writing it down and trying to plan out your best study times will help you fall back into a routine.
- Focus: It can be super exciting to be back on campus with all of your friends and the temptation is high to hang out and spend lots of time together catching up. With a new semester comes new classes, new challenges, and new work loads for everyone. Spend the first few weeks really focusing on classes so you can get a good feel of the demands for each class. This doesn’t mean avoid your friends and say good-bye to a social life. Just pend a little extra time focused on your classes so that you can start this new semester off on the right foot.