School’s back! Although it’s been a few years since I’ve been in school, I still vividly recall feeling those “Back to School Blues” every September as I realized that my summer had been shorter and less fun-filled than anticipated. No matter what grade you’re entering, undergraduate or post-grad, in your educational career, there’s a chance that you might already be feeling overwhelmed with classes, assignments, exams or new teachers and professors. Fear not! As a “back-to-school” veteran, I have a few tips on how to beat those blues and make the most of these first few weeks back at school.
1. Remember this is a time to start fresh!
Any nonsense or drama that happened last school year has probably been forgotten at this point. Your classmates had the entire summer to forget about all of that “he-said, she-said” silliness. If you’re starting at a new school, keep in mind that no one knows you, and sometimes that can be a great thing. No one knows all of your business or any information about you. When starting at a new school, although you may be nervous about literally everything, one of the best things is that you can reinvent yourself to a degree. I’m not implying that you should create an alter-ego or use an alias, but when you’re a stranger to a student body, you can start your year on the right foot, and portray yourself how you’d like. If your reputation wasn’t the best at your former school, this is the time to start over and build a better reputation for yourself. If your friends at your former school weren’t always the greatest, make new and better friends! Starting a new year at the same school or a new school can be great if you approach it with the right attitude. Embrace change!
2. Try something new!
Nothing says “Welcome Back!” like being bombarded with all of the clubs and activities your school or university has to offer. Personally, when I started my freshmen year of college I was nearly attacked with flyers and emails and posters everywhere of all the student groups available at my school. I was extremely overwhelmed! I over-committed myself because I wanted to try everything! By my sophomore year, I dropped a good portion of the clubs I joined the previous year, but I found my niche in the music scene on campus. If this is your first, last or random middle year of a particular school, consider trying something new this year! Don’t spread yourself too thin, but if you feel like you’re already dreading this year, make it fun by joining a new club.
3. Manage your time!
As someone who tends to do a million things at once, even as an adult, I remember September being one of the most hectic times of the year. It always seemed like everything was starting at full speed and wouldn’t slow down until Christmas. I felt like my time was not my own and I was running on everyone else’s time. If you’re anything like me and you feel like you’re already getting lost in the shuffle of September or the school blues/chaos (whoa, juxtaposition), try a new time management technique. Build time into your schedule for things that YOU want to do. For many students, summertime is a period of perpetual chilling. People go down to the shore, travel, vacation, etc. and once school starts up, they feel like all of that fun is over. It doesn’t have to be. You may not be able to take a swim once the fall weather starts creeping in, but you can still try to find ways to build in travel time. Perhaps you can’t just fly across the country, but maybe you can do a “staycation” where you take a local vacation and visit sites in your area and even stay at a local hotel. Summer may be over, but fun doesn’t have to be yet!
The “Back to School Blues” can hit some of us harder than others, but if you make the most of your time, you’ll find that the start of the school year can actually be more so exhilarating rather than exhausting. Enjoy your year, everyone!