The back-to-school blues is a common ailment for most college students during this time of year. The summer of sleeping past 10 a.m. and going on spontaneous beach trips has passed, and now it’s time to get up early and stay in class until the late afternoon. With the big shift in the day-to-day activities, it’s easy to get a little bummed, especially with all the new responsibilities that come with a new semester. I have learned over the years that there are many ways to combat these feelings.
I believe the most effective remedy is to reconnect with your friends and favorite professors. Catching up with friends you may not have seen over the summer is a positive thing to look forward to after a long summer break. There is nothing like reminiscing about the adventures of your summer with old friends around campus. Being back on campus for the new semester also means seeing friends more frequently, which I believe generally makes classes a little easier.
I have also realized planning ahead and making sure I keep my schedule in my calendar up to date helps to prevent the beginning of the semester from feeling overwhelming. Every new semester comes with an abundance of things to remember, and keeping a good schedule from day one relieves a lot of stress. It’s easy to forget you have a quiz at the end of the week, or a paper due in two days, when you have multiple classes on top of anything else you may have going on. In general, planning ahead makes for a more stress-free college experience.
Planning fun things to look forward to during the week is a good motivator to make sure your work is complete. People should plan one day with some free time to do things you enjoy doing, or playing catch-up with errands, to start their semester on the right foot and maintain good mental health. Scheduling times to attend events on campus, or for my schoolwork, is how I make returning to college feel like I’m going to camp. Starting your semester in a positive way is a great way to keep that feeling throughout the year.
As easy as it is to drag your feet the first weeks of classes, it is more beneficial to try to hit the ground running. Getting ahead early in the semester is always easier than trying to play catch up later in the semester. The course work at the beginning of the semester is generally more review material, so students should take the opportunity at the beginning of the semester to finish homework early and get ahead. Checking things off your to-do list is always rewarding, and reminds you of everything you need to get done. It helps me to remind myself that it’s the beginning of a new school year, and I have a fresh start.
I believe focusing on the positive sides of coming back for another semester instead of the negative is the best way to fight the back-to-school blues. The semester will end before you know it, so make sure you enjoy the little things and long study nights. You will miss them more than you realize on some of the boring days of summer.