The holiday season is over, time to pack up the wreaths, box up Christmas ornaments, and most of all check your bank account to see if you can make it for the rest of the year! Jokes aside, the holidays don’t last forever and when Uni rolls around it is overwhelming to get back to the grind and get serious about the semester ahead. It is especially exhausting as exams have just finished and all you can possibly think about at this point is grades and coursework. Here are some handy tips to get back in the swing of the new semester.
Firstly, start getting back into your routine, which means putting back your alarms (not hitting snooze), creating a schedule or a time table to follow throughout the day and most importantly eating and sleeping regularly. Sleeping early and eating regularly gets your body prepared to function smoothly and efficiently which is a prerequisite for your school year. Diving further into the preparation stage, preparing yourself for the new semester may not all be that bad – perks like back to school shopping, buying stationary can be a great motivator for starting out the academic year in a strong mindset! Getting excited about the new term ahead by preparing for it will not only diverge your mind from the holidays, but allow you to encourage a brand-new start to the year that’s coming.
Another great tip is to join societies or clubs to get you more involved in University. Joining a society you really wanted to before the holidays, but never got around to, can help settle in the feeling of going back to Uni! Meeting new friends is always a bonus of uni life and through a new society you are able to set a goal for yourself and there is something to look forward to in the semester.
A good group of classmates is essential for the best university experience. It might also be helpful to start reading the material that is required for the next semester – this tip allows you to slowly but surely get back into study habits and get a feel of what your lectures will hold. Reading will also remind you why you are so fond of your subject of study and give you an edge over other classmates. Finally, don’t dive in too hard – starting off university after a long break can be draining mentally and physically. Balance your schedule and spread out your studies and extracurriculars to minimize feelings of anxiety or being overwhelmed.
And for all the international students out there, like myself and many people I know. This time could be especially uneasy, for those students who return from their home country and must settle living alone again, the best advice is to not spend too much time alone. Isolating yourself will make your feelings more intense, as you’ll spend even more time pondering on what you miss about home. Meeting friends – especially friends going through the same experience as you can be a great socialising activity and calm your mind about missing the holidays. Another great tip is to bring comforts from home back with you to University, to cheer you up when you’re feeling down.
Carry a positive approach about starting the new year and make a conscious effort to stick to that positive approach, this also makes you a pleasure to be around and will keep your blues away. Remember, you are not alone and it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. University has counselling and support services that are always at your disposal and can encourage and help you carry out a great year.