It’s that time of year again, when freezing January weather finally sets in and glorious winter break ends just a little too quickly. If you’re anything like me you’ve spent your winter break getting some R&R after a busy semester and doing almost nothing productive. While it’s pretty easy to fall into a routine of Netflix binging and forgetting to set an alarm, it’s almost impossible to get back into ‘school mode’ as my mom always used to say.
When I was younger my parents used to make my sister and I start getting up earlier and earlier the last few weeks of summer so that we were ready for the early mornings when school started again. We would always moan and groan, but my parents (as they often are) were right. Taking the little steps to get back into a productive routine really did set us up right for the whole year. So, as we all get back to school and waking up before the sun is even up I have 5 tips for getting back into school mode without hating every moment of it.
1) Get up at the same time every day, even on the weekend!
As much as I love sleeping late on the weekends or on days that I don’t have an early class, the key to not feeling like a zombie every morning is keeping a consistent sleep schedule. In my opinion this can fluctuate by about an hour and still work! My goal this semester is to consistently wake up between 7:30 and 8:30AM.
2) Stock your kitchen with healthy and delicious snacks.
I’ve mentioned it a few posts recently, but I’m really trying not to eat out or snack on unhealthy foods this semester. I’d say I’ve been doing decently well so far, but only when I ensure I have the right food around. When I have food in my apartment that I want to eat I don’t need to order food from around the corner. A few of my favorite things to keep on hand are Fage yogurts, Boom Chicka Pop lightly sweet popcorn, and ingredients for the easiest quiche recipe (hold the crust to make it even better). My downfall is eating out for breakfast so making a delicious quiche at home packed with spinach is the best way to curb my bagel cravings.
3) Set aside specific times for relaxation.
I’m notorious for binge watching shows on Netflix and I’m currently battling a Walking Dead addiction (hence the zombie reference above), but I find setting a specific hour during your day to really just de-stress is the best way to get things done. Whether you like to read a trashy novel, take a long bath, or cook a fancy dinner having some ‘me’ time is important to everyone’s sanity. Plus, when you’re working on an essay or writing job applications you’ll be able to push forward because you know that relaxation time isn’t too far off.
4) Figure out the best times to go to the gym, do your laundry, go grocery shopping, etc.
Aside from school and work there are still so many other things to get done in a week. Instead of ending up with no food in your fridge or a pile of laundry schedule these to-dos just like you would a meeting. I touched on this in my recent post about getting healthy as well because I really believe that writing your workouts or laundry loads into your schedule will make you more accountable to getting them done.
5) Actually do your required reading and plan out your assignments.
The biggest joke in college are the readings that are supposedly required for each class, but that no one ever does until the night before the exam… I’m sure everyone has at least one experience reading every article assigned throughout the semester when they should only be reviewing and I can say from experience – it sucks. I was so impressed last semester when a friend told me she did a huge case study analysis weeks before it was actually due because she had a lull in her workload and knew she would be busier later. We all know the beginning of the semester is the easiest, so why not take advantage of less work and more free time and get ahead instead of falling behind?
Wishing everyone a great start to their semester!