Illustrations by Ana Leovy. for Man Repeller
I hate to be the one to break it to you but winter break is over. I know, I know it came and went much faster than we all expected, but now it’s time for the new (school) year. I’m not going to lecture anyone on New Year’s resolutions, or tell you what your goals should be for 2018, because that ship has sailed.
Now it’s the new semester, and for me, my last new semester ever. In the spirit of me taking my last stab at this whole school thing, I thought I’d offer some veteran advice on how to not make week 1 to 5 a mess of post-holiday sadness and week 12 a stress disaster — but to balance them.
Coming back from winter break is tough because you probably just had your parents grocery shop for you, cook for you, do your laundry etc. etc. and you definitely didn’t have any school work to worry about. (Not to mention all the lovely feasts you may have just consumed, where your energy levels plummeted and potato-like feelings are at an all-time high.)
My advice is first go to all your classes in week 1, despite perhaps it not being entirely necessary. Schedule and routine are what you need right now. Along with that, what I like to do is: actually read the syllabus buy your necessary course material, print off a personal reader at the P&CC, and look at all your assignments. Evaluate whether you can start any without knowing the course content; perhaps choose an essay topic, one you’ve already done research for, think of questions for the professor and write them down for when they’re ready to answer them… It does feel like you’re jumping the gun but beginning to think about the work you have to do will force you to be in the motion of school again.
If you haven’t already, go for a good grocery shop, go to the gym, go to the library or whatever it is that you usually set aside time for. When you start to do those things for yourself that you didn’t do all break, it will begin to be habit again.
Frost week is a blast and all but just because you’re back doesn’t mean you have to go out every single night. Especially in this weather! Pick a night or two between week 1 and week 2. Going to Mod, Stage Rage, Trinity karaoke from now until week 6 will literally fry you and make week 12 a living hell. Being back with everyone from the holidays is quite nice, but instead of getting drunk every night plan to meet up with friends for coffee or go for a walk downtown to return a Christmas present they couldn’t with their parents around, or even an early study date!
My last little piece of advice is to get all your important dates in your calendar, or go buy a planner or agenda for 2018. They’re fun to shop for and super satisfying to fill out. Doing things that remind you of routine and that were a part of your routine before the holidays will help you get back in the swing of things!
These are all fairly straight forward ideas but just in case you needed a little motivation or reassurance you were on the right path, here I am from one semi-lost student to another. You’re not alone!
Good luck with second semester everyone, and if it’s your last semester like me, congratulations! (almost)…