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Frosh Survival Guide: Getting back into the swing of things

By Katie IngramOpinions Columnist

It doesn’t matter if you celebrate a holiday during December; after winter break, it’s easy to find yourself having trouble with school work. After two weeks of relaxing, trying to read a text book or writing an essay at the beginning of the winter term is one of the hardest things to do.
Some people avoid this problem and fall right back into the daily grind of school, but others tend to fall into two categories: the guilt-stricken and the procrastinator.
Guilty students tend to realize they could have accomplished a lot over the past two weeks, and begin to panic. As a result, the guilt-stricken student becomes overly stressed, even before the term has officially begun.
If you are this type of person there are a few ways to tackle the new year and your workload without feeling at fault about taking time off to enjoy a well-deserved vacation.
First, step back and take a breath.
The term has just started; there is no need to worry yet. If your marks were good last semester, there is no reason to worry; you’ve already got a handle on university and you should be fine.
The main way to stop feeling guilty is to stay on top of work by re-evaluating your time management skills. If you have a break in the morning, use this to do your readings, so that your evenings are free for assignments. Look at your due dates and the lengths of your assignments.
If you have a lab report to do and you don’t need to spend a lot of time on it, then don’t devote an entire night to it. On the other hand, if you have an essay due and are having trouble with it, devote more time to it. Budget your time correctly and you will be able to ease back into school without many problems.
Or maybe you fall into the second category: the procrastinator.
There is really only one way to conquer this problem. You must retrain your mind for school.
No matter how early your classes start, try to make sure you’re up at least one hour before you have to leave for class.
This will not only help you avoid sleeping in too late, but you will also have time for step two. Use the time before your first class in a productive manner. It’s very easy, especially during the first week of classes to avoid doing any work at all, even if it’s just readings.
To avoid slacking off before class try reading that novel for English or do research for that pending history paper; anything that can help your brain move from vacation mode to work mode.
Finally, give yourself a bed time. For example, try going to bed at 11:00 or 11:30; you will be showing yourself that you cannot stay up as late as you did on the break because the holidays have passed.
Overall, January is much like September. As first year students, you should always be taking a ‘planning’ approach to the new term. Therefore, no matter what problems you are having, you can tackle them with ease as your solutions will be carefully laid out and hopefully enable you to successfully finish the year.


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