Winter break is a life-saver: you finally have time to relax with friends and family, reflect on the year, and recover from a hard semester. But after a few weeks of intentionally avoiding anything academic, starting school again can feel daunting. Maybe you forgot your school-day routine or you can’t remember any Spanish grammar, but either way – you’re dreading your first day back.
However, there are a few things you can do to ease the shock of returning to school. These five tips will keep you motivated, organized, and prepared as you go into the new semester. It’ll be summer break before you know it!
1. Clean your area, backpack, and organizers
Miscellaneous papers – old essays, assignment sheets, problem sets, and so on – tend to accumulate over the course of a semester. You might not realize how much space this material, much of it you may no longer need, is really taking up until you clean it all up! You’ll feel a tangible load lifted off your shoulders when you no longer have to dig through the mess in your backpack and folders for that one piece of paper.
Cleaning can help lessen the stress of starting school again – messy materials add to the intimidating or overwhelming nature of a new semester. With your desk, backpack, folders, and binders clear of unnecessary junk, you’ll be off to a fresh start!
2. Make a schedule
After a few week of not doing much, you might have lost some of the habits you formed during the last semester, such as managing your homework with a study schedule. Creating a schedule for when to work and what to work on will not only help you get back into a weekday routine, it will ensure that you’re organized and prepared for your new workload.
3. Start writing in your planner again
As the previous semester wore on and you began to look forward to winter break, you might have felt less motivated to keep track of your assignments and due dates. Now that the new semester is upon us, it’s time to get back in the habit of staying on top of your school responsibilities by writing everything down in a planner. You’ll start the semester off on the right foot by remembering important due dates before the day it’s due.
4. Restock your school supplies
To make sure that you’re ready to be active in class, refresh your school supplies – you can’t write assignments, take notes, or generally do anything at school if you don’t have pens, pencils, and paper! In addition, you might also want some new folders or binders, especially if a semester of traveling in your backpack has them the worse for wear. After all, you have to have the right materials in order to be prepared for a new semester.
5. Set semester goals
The start of a new semester is a great time to implement changes in your work and study habits. Reflect on what you can be doing better – at school, at home, or elsewhere – and set some goals that you want to reach by the end of the semester. A goal might be to care for yourself better by going to bed before midnight or eating breakfast every morning. Or it can be school-related – maybe you want to start your essay assignments a few days earlier. Whatever strengths you want to highlight or weaknesses you want to improve, setting goals will motivate you to keep working hard and ease the transition back to school.
Put yourself on the right track for the new semester by following these tips, which take just a little persistence and have a big payoff. The start of school will be less stressful and more successful!