Breathe in slowly. Now, concentrate. Do you hear that? That’s the sound of you filling up your third cup of coffee in the middle of the day. That’s the sound of your neighbors playing their music way too loudly at 3am. That’s the sound of your frustration because you locked yourself out of your dorm room… again.

Yes, winter break is over and it’s time to return to university. You can breathe out now, but don’t panic! I’d admit it can be overwhelming to resume your life on campus. Not only do you have to focus on new professors, new classes, and new classmates, but you’re also another quarter or semester closer to your future. You’re allowed to feel a tad nervous – the concept is daunting! Hopefully, with these three steps, you can smoothly transition back to your college life after a long winter break.

1. Settle In

Your tentative schedule might be looming in the back of your mind, along with the textbooks you still need to buy, but put those worries to rest for a short time. Your first job is simply to move back in. I would recommend getting there as soon as the residence halls open. If you don’t, you will most likely be caught in the chaotic surge of college students returning to university. Get there early and give yourself ample time to unpack. Reorganizing your living area is a great way to start off the quarter. Out with the old and in with the new!

2. Everything Academic

So, you’ve settled in. Now you can freak out about everything academic. If you don’t have your official schedule, be sure to make several copies of your tentative schedule. Write down all the information for courses you may be switching into or crashing. Once you have your courses, double check that you have your textbooks for each class. Set your alarm for the following day just in case you forget to do so later with all the stresses of moving in.

3. Everything Else

You’re practically ready to go. You’ve settled in and have handled everything academic. Congratulations! However, college isn’t just about academics. Maybe you are part of a sports team. Maybe you want to study abroad. Not to mention there’s also the pressure of being on your own, which can be the scariest part. You’re not alone in worrying about your future, and your school knows this. Your university offers academic advising and psychological counseling. Take it from someone who went to both – your advisors and counselors are there for you. They want to help you and guide you as best they can. Make an appointment, stop by, or give them a call in a moment of crisis.

And just like that, you’re a fully functioning college student once more! Good luck with your studies, everyone, and welcome back.

mary-rasoHello! My name is Mary Raso. As a film major, I’m accustomed to writing scripts and bringing them to life through film. Along the way, I fell in love with writing in a creative, interactive, and free way.