It’s the start of a new semester, and everyone seems to be giving out advice to incoming college students. But after a summer of interning, traveling, working or just relaxing, the transition for returning students can be just as tough.
Just like that, we’re back to caf-eating, summer nights become all-nighters and 9-to-5s turn into 9:25s.
Before you can physically readjust to Mercer, it’s important to mentally prepare yourself.
For those returning as well as first-year students, a new year means new beginnings.
Here are a few tips and tricks to get the year started off right:
(1) Start reviewing your schedule for the school year, write down all of the extracurricular and volunteer activities that you’re planning to take part in and set some goals for the semester. There’s just something about putting your plans on paper that makes them seem a little more doable.
(2) Once you envision what you want to accomplish, break down each goal and list what needs to be done to get the results you want. These lists may be frightening at first, but you’ll know how and where you need to start.
(3) Make yourself at home again. Decorate your dorm room similarly to your room back at home or in any way that will allow you to get comfortable in your new space. Hang up pictures from this summer, personalize your desk or make your bed a little cozier by adding some more pieces.
How you feel in your living space can have a huge effect on your performance outside of it. For some ideas on how to personalize your space, check out DIY Dorm Ideas in the Arts and Entertainment section. This will be the place that you return to after a long lab, a stressful day or just to clear your mind for a while — make it yours.
(4) Feed your passions this year. Find something you’re interested in and commit to it. Investing time into a particular cause, sport, or organization can have a positive effect on your overall attitude. Not only will you get to know like-minded people, but you’ll find yourself constantly stepping outside of your comfort zone. In no time, homesickness will be in the past and the free time you lost will be replaced with something you love.
(5) Get excited. All summer you’ve been thinking about how well you’re going to do this semester and the mark you plan to leave here at Mercer. You get to hang out with friends you haven’t seen in months and let’s be honest, you’re happy to be on your own again. Naturally, the first few days are going to feel strange, but these feelings won’t last long.
Think of the school year as an adventure, like some of the ones you may have taken over the summer. There will be risks, unexpected moments, a lot of memories and even times where you may want to stop and turn back.
But this year, keep going.