It can be quite a challenge returning to campus for spring semester after winter break. You just spent a month with no deadlines, free to binge on Netflix and able to sleep without needing to set your alarm. And now you have to figure out how to get back into the groove, including setting a schedule, finishing homework, taking tests and writing essays.
But it doesn’t have to be so hard. Here are five steps to help you get over that spring-semester slump.
Step One: Get a Planner
At the very least, implement your own planning system. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and fall behind if you don’t keep track of important dates from different courses in the same place. With a planner, you can stay on top of your schedule throughout the semester and know what to prioritize.
Entering significant dates you already know before the semester begins will also help you transition from break brain to awake brain, allowing you to start the semester with a clear head.
Step Two: Create a Weekly Ritual with Your Friends
This gives you something concrete to look forward to each week. Whether it’s getting lunch at your favorite spot, watching a show together, working out (see step five) or doing your own “family dinner” every Friday, make sure you set aside time for you and your friends to get together and destress once a week.
Step Three: Get More Involved on Campus
You probably already have a club, organization or sports team you’ve thought about joining. Make the commitment. Yes, it’ll add to your schedule, but it will be worth it. You’ll make new friends, and you’ll give yourself more to look forward to each time you get together with that group.
Step Four: Come Up with a Reward System for Yourself
Reward yourself when you accomplish a goal. It will give you the extra motivation you need to get through an assignment you might be struggling with. Finished your homework for one of your classes? Decide if that means you get a snack break or a quick TV break. Taking breaks will also help increase your overall productivity.
Step Five: Exercise
If you don’t already, start making use of the College’s gym! Not only is exercising good for your body, but it provides a huge boost for your mental health. Evidence suggests working out helps reduce depression and anxiety. So find your workout buddy, head to the Danzi Athletic Center or The Hill Center, and find an exercise routine you like.