Summer to Semester

I seriously cannot believe that the uni holidays are nearly over. Three months off sounds like a really long time, but it always manages to fly by! Today’s post is going to be about easing back into uni life  – because let’s face it: no one is ready to go back to late night cramming and deadlines after a summer full of lounging in the sun, adventures, and having all the free time in the world.

The good news is, there are certain things you can do to help make the transition a little easier. I usually like to start a week or so out, to ensure that habits are being formed even before the semester kicks into gear.

Set a proper sleep schedule: I know that personally, my sleep schedule goes completely out the window when the holidays roll around. I stay up later than usual but because I’m a total earlybird, I end up getting less sleep than I really should and I sometimes nap during the afternoon. Obviously, this sleep schedule just won’t fly at uni, so recently I’ve been trying to get my schedule back to its normal hours. During the semester I try for 7-8 hours per night – I know it seems like a lot but I find that my focus in class is way better if I get enough snooze. By doing this early, your sleep schedule should be back to where it should be when the semester starts, and you’ll be the only fresh-faced human during your first 8am lecture.

Create your ideal morning routine: Start your mornings like an absolute boss, and the rest of your day will follow. I like to figure out what my perfect routine will be before uni starts, so that I’m ready to go for week one. Research suggests that reaching for your phone/social media first thing in the morning can lead to depressive moods and unproductivity. Instead, I now do all my usual morning activities sans-phone. I also try to squeeze in a bit of focused quiet time in the morning, so while I drink my coffee, I also like to plan out my daily goals/priorities in my planner. Having some productive time in the morning helps me narrow my focus for the day so I know exactly what my purpose is. It’s also important to create a stress-free morning routine when you know the rest of your day is going to be complete chaos, so having this sacred planner time is crucial to my mental wellbeing, and I won’t touch my phone until it’s over. Caffeinating correctly is also important to my ideal morning routine. The minute I wake up, I try to down at least a 500ml bottle of water. The reason for this being that I know several cups of coffee will follow, and being hydrated beforehand aids in caffeine absorption (priorities). Aside from this, hydrating as soon as you wake up helps get your metabolism revved up for the day, which is always a nice bonus.

Get prepared: If I’m really not feeling the back to uni thing (and let’s be real, who is…), sometimes I try bribery. Buying yourself some new stationery or a coveted pair of sneakers can help to make things more bearable. The trick is to not allow yourself to use them until week one starts, and you’ll be so keen to use them that you’ll have forgotten all about the blood, sweat and tears that is yet to come.

There you have it – my somewhat tried-and-true measures for an easy transition from summer to semester. If all else fails, remember: everyone knows the first week of semester isn’t real, anyway.

Caitlin xx

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