Getting back into the College routine
Returning to College, or heading off for the first time can be an exciting time. Whether you spent the summer working, travelling or chilling at home, getting back into a College routine can be tricky!
Read on if you want to learn more about how you can make your first few weeks more enjoyable:
9 am’s are the worst! Especially if you’re returning from a summer of waking up at 12 o’clock. In the weeks before your due to start back, try and wind back your waking hours to a time that is closer to when you wake up normally for College. It is also worth remembering that 8 hours of sleep can be the difference between a good and bad day sometimes, so aim for that amount of sleep as you start to go to bed earlier.
Get your books and copies bought ahead of time, come up with a plan for paying fees, make sure the route for your daily commute has not changed. All of these small things seem obvious, but they can be easy to forget. Nothing is worse than forgotten fees popping up in your inbox, or missing your stop because it takes a new route that you did not know about. Keeping on top of all of these little things will help you ease back into college life.
Something of note for people who are moving to a new place for their next year of College, become familiar with your new area. Learn where the best shops are, where is a decent place to go out, or even just somewhere to go for a walk. Being familiar in your area will make it so much easier to settle down and be comfortable.
Budgeting is key
College is expensive, your first year will have taught you that. If you haven’t already, coming up with a realistic budget for your next year can be a very handy thing to do. Try designing one for your first half of the semester. After a few weeks , you can see if it is realistic or not. When making a budget, you should look at covering all of the basics, travel, food, rent and bills if you have them. Also budget for nice things, like nights out, or having cash in reserve. Factoring in some spare money is always a good idea, as it can cover you for some unseen costs.
Make time for your friends
The best part about college by far is the people you make friends with. For some of you, you won’t have seen each other all summer, so now is the perfect time to meet up. Try to organise a group night out, or a coffee meet up. The social aspects of college are just as important as the academic , so don’t forget that.
For people moving somewhere new for the next year, meeting up with friends is especially important. It can be lonely moving into a new area, daunting even. Having people around to go and do things with is very reassuring and can keep you in the right state of mind for enjoying your time.
A little study never hurt…
Wait! Before I lose you, studying a little bit before your first couple weeks can be a good thing. It will put you into the mindset you’ll need for studying and working on assignments. Doing this can also sometimes have the benefit of getting your interest going again in your chosen subject, which makes paying attention at lectures all that much easier. The other obvious benefit is that you will be going back to your course with last year’s knowledge fresh in your mind.
Sleeping a little earlier, organising yourself, making time for friends and doing a little bit of study can help you get back into the swing of things in your next year of college. The final word I’ll say is don’t forget about yourself. College is wonderful for most people, you are in an environment where you get to learn about things you are interested in and being back with your friends, but you need to remember to take time for yourself to rest and recuperate. It’s OK to spend the odd evening in front of the TV winding down if it means you will be better rested for the rest of your week.
This blog was written for ReachOut.com by our Youth Editorial Board member James Kirwan.