3 crucial tips to help ease yourself into the school year — pandemic style
By Cassie Weiss, Features Editor
There is nothing quite like the ringing of a school bell, signaling the inevitable return back to the books and classrooms that come with the fading of summer. Of course, in university, we don’t really have school bells, and with COVID-19 still controlling most of what we do, there isn’t really a return to the classroom. But the stresses of the upcoming school year still remain. And if you are anything like me, they don’t just remain. They gradually increase until I’m crying with a tub of ice cream, avoiding life and watching Netflix, because isn’t that how most people manage their emotions?
Luckily, the return to university doesn’t have to be this huge encompassing thing that takes over your mind. It can be gradual, it can be exciting and it doesn’t have to be full of stress and worry. There are a ton of methods that can be utilized to ease yourself back into the grind of assignments and due dates. And great news, I have a few crucial ones laid out here, in black and white, for your viewing pleasure.
1. Make a schedule
We have a school schedule for a reason, and to no surprise, we also have other things in life that we have to plan around school. I easily forget plans I’ve made and then panic when I’ve double or tripled booked myself and have a major paper due at the same time. So, avoid the panic and just plan out your semester — write things in a daily planner or a calendar that is often in eyesight. Mapping out all my assignments, gym sessions, club meetings and work shifts leave me fully aware of when I do and do not have free time. It’s easier to destress when you are in control of your time.
2. Make (and stick to) a routine
Following a routine is a great way to get yourself back into school mode. It will be hard, but stick to whatever works for you. Studies show that waking up at the same time every day and going to bed at the same time every day ensures that your brain gets the proper amount of rest it needs and leaves you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to take on whatever is thrown at you. Once you make that routine and commit to following it, the early mornings won’t be so difficult to handle..
3. Don’t forget about ‘you’ time
I know that is super easy to say and even harder to honour. But the thing is, if you spent all summer hanging out, it is going to be a complete shock to your system to jump back into school and just completely take away all your extracurricular activities. Don’t forget the things that calm you down — an hour-long dog walk, a short drive to the mountains or just reading a book in the fading summer light. If it relaxes you, it shouldn’t be forgotten about.
Deciding to dedicate most of your time to your education is a very important thing for most of us, but in my opinion, school is nothing if you spend too much time stressed about it to enjoy the little things life has to offer. So, make a schedule, plan the rest of your life in the in-between, and dip your toes back into the semester while still squeezing as much out of summer as there is left.