Coming back to school after winter break can be tricky — one day you’re opening presents at mom and dad’s house; the next, you’re back in the dorms going through new syllabi. However, just as a new semester represents new challenges, it also represents new opportunities. Instead of feeling down in the dumps about going back to school, use a new semester as a motivator to implement more effective study habits and improved study skills. With a little strategy and planning, you could make this semester the one where you’re more focused, better motivated and more productive than you’ve ever been. Here’s how:
Expect the Typical Pitfalls When Returning to School
Now that you’re back in school and the break is over, expect certain obstacles to come up, threatening to derail your studies. It will be easy to get distracted, for example, whether it’s by the social media you were using more often over break or by the friends you hung out with who want to know what you’re doing tonight and why. If you lazed around for a few weeks doing little more than watching movies or drinking eggnog, expect that it will take some effort to break those habits. You may even have to fight boredom in schoolwork because shopping, partying or otherwise having fun sounds like a better idea.
Fight the Winter Doldrums
Seasonal depression is a real issue, and it affects more than our outlook on life. The long winter months of less sunshine, less daylight, colder temperatures and harsh weather conditions are notorious for getting people in a lazy mood. Take an offensive approach to the season and fight the winter doldrums before they hit: work out regularly, get some (winter) sunshine, get plenty of sleep, listen to upbeat music, take breaks and eat a healthy diet of energy-boosting foods.
Practice Effective Study Habits and Productivity Boosters
When it comes to getting motivation for a new semester, there are several effective study habits to try. Practice the following to achieve a better perspective and some improved study skills this semester:
- Work Smarter, Not Harder: Whether it’s learning how to speed read, finally using a planner, finding a better note-taking strategy or something else, look for ways to become more efficient in your studies.
- Set Goals: Goals help you stay focused and motivated, so set them for the semester. From raising your grade-point average to exercising three times a week, specific goals will keep you on target in the new year.
- Use College Productivity Apps: In today’s technology age, there are apps for everything, including making studying, schoolwork and personal productivity easier. Look for some apps that appeal to you to boost productivity.
- Make Time for Fun: To keep yourself from burning out or overstressing from academics, be sure to schedule some time to let loose, too.
Returning to school after extended time away isn’t easy, but it can be productive, especially when you use the tips above. Make this semester your most effective and successful one yet.