Going back to school after break
Going back to school after break
Going back to school after break, like over summer or the holidays, can be hard. You might be sad that the days of sleeping in and having extra time on your hands are over until the next break. Or alternatively, you might be really excited to get back to school, catch up with all your friends and start your new classes.
No matter what you might be feeling, here are a few tips that can help you get back into the right frame of mind to go back to school and get motivated for the new semester or quarter.
How going back to school might affect you
At the beginning of the semester or quarter, it’s not uncommon to feel:
- Stressed or anxious;
- Excited to see friends again;
- Sad or down that break is over;
- Pressure or expectations-from yourself or others-to perform well in school;
- Concerned about your course load.
If you’re experiencing these feelings, take time to ease back into school and do things that can help you be less stressed out. For example, even if you don’t feel like it, exercising and eating well can help. If you’re finding that your feelings are affecting your day-to-day life, it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust.
Suggestions for easing the transition back to school
It may help to remember you’re not alone; a lot of other people are just as likely to be anxious about returning to school as you are. Here are some suggestions for making going back to school as stress-free as possible:
Set some goals for the year or even just the semester. A good way to get motivated for the new semester or quarter could be thinking about the things you’d like to achieve. These might be school-related goals, like getting good grades in certain classes, or personal goals, like joining a club or volunteering. Check out the Putting your goals into action fact sheet for more information.
Get involved. A good way to get back into things at school and possibly make new friends is to become involved in activities or clubs. You may have been overwhelmed during your first semester or first year, or may not have been interesting in joining a club or other activity. Even if you have already made friends on your own, this could be a great time to meet some new people who share common interests with you. You might want to try a sports league, debate team, volunteer activity, student council, or fraternity or sorority. Now that you are settled into college and might feel more comfortable exploring your school’s social scene, it could be fun to get more involved.
Break the ice. It’s possible that you will find yourself in classes with people you don’t know. Other people often feel nervous about making new friends or being in a situation with strangers. Try breaking the ice by asking someone in your class to hang out after class, have coffee or join a study group. You may have gotten used to your classes and classmates in the previous semester or quarter, so you’ll have to introduce yourself to your new classmates to feel the same this semester.
Don’t stick to stereotypes. It’s often easy to identify different groups at your school: common stereotypes are jocks, hipsters, business or international students, for example. However, interacting with anyone (no matter what group they hang out with usually or what stereotype you think they fit into) can help you expand your circle of friends and become more open-minded.
Express yourself. Release some of the tension you’re feeling by expressing yourself. There are a number of ways that you can do this, including exercising, writing in a journal, or doing another activity that you enjoy. Check out the Express yourself fact sheet for more ideas.
Have something to look forward to. Sometimes it can be helpful to plan ahead so that you have something to look forward to. It can change your mindset completely. You may want to plan to catch up with friends after school or do something special over the weekend. And there’s always next break to look forward to!
If you find that you aren’t coping well with the thought of going back to school, it may be helpful to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Try talking with a friend or family member.
Sometimes talking to someone who isn’t directly involved in your situation can also be helpful. This person might be able to give you a different perspective on things and offer suggestions to deal with your feelings. Try talking to someone like a school counselor, or a counselor at the campus counseling center, or a professor-it’s part of their job to support students.
If you would prefer to talk to someone anonymously you can call Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000.
Information in this fact sheet was provided by:
“Going home for the summer,” Ecampustours.com
Last reviewed: May 28, 2009
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