Summer break has passed and classes are now in session. Trips to the beach, endless hours spent hanging out with friends, and being able to sleep in all day are now distant memories. In their place are textbooks, mountains of homework, and the shrill and unwelcome sound of the alarm clock.
But education is valuable, so we’re going to need to get down to business and back into routine. So here are some tips to get you reacquainted with the academic lifestyle:
Develop a normal sleep schedule. A tired mind is rarely a fruitful one. Since your days are going to be far more productive than they were over the summer, you’re going to need plenty of rest. The average recommended amount of sleep is usually between six to eight hours. It’s a rough estimate that depends on the individual. You learn through trial and error how many hours you need in order to function properly. So plan accordingly every night, and give yourself an extra 20 minutes to fall asleep.
Give yourself some time to wake up. Try to avoid waking up right before your first class starts. There’s no telling what obstacles can suddenly pop up and delay you, or if you might fall back asleep. Take some initiative and wake up early. Make sure that you have enough time to get dressed, organize what you need for class, and have a bite to eat. It might be rough at first for all you late risers, but it’ll pay off. Better safe than sorry.
Eat food at regular times. Food is just as important as sleep. One fuels the mind, while the other refreshes it. An eating routine is a good way to organize your nutrient intake so that you can have a consistent energy level for the day. Find the best times in your daily schedule for eating your major meals, and allot periods for snacking in-between. Try to avoid eating too late. The energy might keep you up all night, or make you feel lethargic in the morning.
Plan out your week. Make sure that you have the time between classes roughly mapped out. This includes time for napping, doing homework, hanging out with friends, and any other activities you may have. It doesn’t have to be set in stone. Your schedule can be flexible. Unexpected stuff pops up all the time and sometimes you have to adjust accordingly.
Set reminders. Summer break often leaves your mind a bit hazy and forgetful. Be sure to write down important events and times in a planner or a notebook. Put sticky notes in places that you normally look. If you have homework due, and you worry you might forget about it, be sure to jot it down. You can also set alarms with notifications and messages on your cell phone or computer, with sounds to grab your attention.
Use the buddy system. If you’re not good at following your own reminders, then have somebody else help you. This can be a roommate or one of your friends. You can help by reminding each other about obligations that might be forgotten and keep each other on track if one person becomes too distracted. This can either be done in person or through simple texts.