I’ve often heard the expression “getting back into the swing of things” applied to the undertaking that one bears when re-entering into once familiar territory. With that being said, I cannot think of a better expression to use to describe the feeling that a student gets during the first couple weeks of a new academic semester. Suddenly, as though it crashed out of nowhere, the all-too-short winter break comes to a rapid end, as students stumble back onto campus with the overwhelming feeling of, “Haven’t I been here before?” With the holidays behind us and the warm spring months still quite some time away, having to adjust back to a life without the mass amounts of over sleeping and TV show reruns that winter break allotted many of us seems quite bleak. Quite honestly, “getting back into the swing of things” is a lot easier said than done.
For myself, I’ve never handled the beginning of a new semester very well. I’ve been known to make a fuss out of having to start focusing on a grander topic again, aside from the under-stimulating material on MTV’s True Life or such lazy day activities. I love the excitement and the promise a new semester always brings, but having to pull myself out of my self-induced “winter vacation coma” poses its own challenges. Because of my awareness of the difficulty this time period holds, I’ve developed some strategies in making sure that “starting off on the right foot” in a new semester is both feasible and enjoyable. After all, a new semester might be the breath of fresh winter air we all need.
Settle in and settle down
As a resident student at Dominican, I’ve found that a large part of preparing myself for an upcoming semester is getting my dorm room in order. It took me a week after moving in to finally get all my clothing and random life accessories put away in their proper spots — sorry for the wrinkles that are now apparent in my wardrobe. However, once I mustered up enough motivation to do so, I felt an immediate sense of relief lift off of my shoulders. Having all of my physical belongings back in order made me feel intellectually and emotionally ready for the semester, too. If you’re a commuter student, consider reorganizing your workspace at home and tidying up your living area to feel similar immediate stress relief.
Schedules, lists and to-do’s
A new semester brings forth a new schedule that needs to be kept in order. I recently shared a story with a fellow DU student about how I ended up sitting through an entire philosophy class that I wasn’t a member of, simply because I read my schedule wrong. Luckily, the professor didn’t seem to notice that I wasn’t on their roster and I slipped under the radar of humiliation. To avoid a similar mishap, make sure that you have your schedule handy at all times. Another bonus is being able to identify all of your free time that can be spent catching up with friends, venturing in dreamland or doing other enjoyable activities.
With wishes for a successful new semester — I welcome you back home!
– Tina Cisarik, Staff Writer