If you are returning to college after the summer holidays, it can all seem a little bit surreal. While it is nice to catch up with your friends and share stories of what you got up to, these first few days and weeks have a danger of drifting along as you try to get back into your routine. This is not helped by the fact that the days are still warm enough to hint at the fading summer evenings without interruptions like new homework! The key to making sure you don’t fall behind in these first few weeks is to try and establish a working routine as quickly as possible.
Firstly it pays to be prepared, so make sure you have everything you might need – such as plenty of paper and some working pens, for example. Being prepared with the right tools will stop you from getting distracted or panicking as you try to find something to write on.
Practical preparations aside, you also need to get back into the right mind-state to study. Are you the sort of person who likes to try and get straight on with their homework when they get in? If so, get right back into this method of organising yourself. It may seem a bit painful at first, but the sooner you can do this the easier it becomes and before long it will feel entirely natural to you again.
Creating some sort of study diary might help, outlining what needs to be done and when, so that you can stay on top of things. Finding a set routine and sticking with it helps you stay focussed on your work, while making sure it doesn’t get in the way of any more fun plans (at least no more than necessary!). You can always adjust it if you find it doesn’t work for you – but don’t cheat yourself – you will only pay for it in the long run.
It is not just your mind you need to get back in shape either! Making sure your body-clock is not still running on ‘holiday time’ is important too. Getting some earlier nights over the next few weeks won’t hurt you to get over staying up late during the summer, while also making sure you have the energy you need when you get to college.
You might also want to think about your diet. Perhaps you let things slip a little bit over the summer with plenty of ice creams and other snacks. Nothing wrong with a treat here and there, but make sure you also get enough fruit and veg and other nutritious foods – remember they are good for your brain and your body!
Returning to the old routine after a break can seem like a bit of a wrench, and there is no other way around it than to simply jump right back in. Just like going to the swimming pool – the sooner you get in, the sooner you can start moving!
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