From bored to burdened: How to get back into the swing of things

From Bored to Burdened: How to Get Back into the Swing of Things

By Jessica Orlowski


Despite the hardships of the previous semester, many students agree that Seton Hill’s (SHU’s) six week winter break was simply too long.

Anna Provo, a second-semester sophomore and double music major who took twenty credits during the fall semester, knows well how rigorous a packed schedule can be.  Even Provo, however, reports, “Christmas break is too super long!”

So, does this mean that students are looking forward to returning to classes on January 24 for the spring semester? Highly, highly unlikely.

“… [At] some point I decided I didn’t want to go clinically insane quite yet, and opted instead for a leisurely ‘do nothing’ for the better part of a month and a half. Last semester was tremendously taxing to my psyche, and this was a much-deserved recuperation period,” said junior Alex Bruce.

Chances are that you, too, are wondering how you’ll avoid going clinically insane from the pressures of a new semester following such an extensive break.

Have no fear!

Just follow these five steps to ease yourself back into your studies:

1)   Get Some Sleep

You may be excited to catch up with your friends, play with your new Wii or take that late-night trip to Sheetz. Don’t forget about your parents’ advice; 8 hours of shut-eye can make all the difference (napping isn’t such a bad thing, either).

2)   Plan it out!

If the only reading you did over the break was of your friends’ Facebook statuses, make yourself a tentative schedule and stick to it. Michael Arnzen, professor of English at SHU, counsels students to “get organized. Set up your calendar on your iPad, enter all the assignments from your syllabi into it, and promise yourself you’ll get into the new routine. Talk to your advisor if you ever feel lost.

3)   Red Bull is not a food group…

You’ve heard it many times before, but good nutrition helps brain function!  Try to get the recommended 6 to 11 servings of whole grains, 3 to 5 servings of vegetables, 2 to 4 servings of fruit, 2 to 3 servings of dairy, and 2 to 3 servings of protein per day. The occasional chocolate chip cookie or cup of soft serve is fine, but eat some other things, too…

4)   Relaxation is MANDATORY.

“Set aside a block of time on your calendar called ‘me time,’ says Arnzen, “where you can find sanctuary away from everyone and do homework, pray, research, exercise, nap, whatever it is that you need to recharge your batteries or keep up with the workload.  We fool ourselves into thinking ‘me time’ is 24 hours a day… which leads to forgetting our commitments to others.

5)   Stay Connected.

Finally, Arnzen advises students to “maintain your connection with friends and family.  Reconnect with old friends from last term on campus. Find your support network.  Attend events where you’ll meet others of a like mind.  Join clubs or make offers to study together with people in your classes.  One of the biggest benefits of college is being a part of a community, and in some ways this may mean just as much as anything else you get out of your time here — you may make some new lifelong friends here — so don’t drop off the map to become a workaholic.  But also keep in touch with family and friends off campus.  Don’t just Facebook; make an appointment with yourself to write letters or make special phone calls.  This network will support you and can help you through tough times.”

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