With the new school year just around the corner, it’s important to start thinking ahead. Preparing for the many changes that come with a brand new semester can be overwhelming at times, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. It’s important to start off the semester right, so that you feel settled, excited, and ready for the new adventures to come.
With that being said, one of the hardest parts about a new school year–whether it is your first semester, or you’re heading into your senior year–is finding balance. Juggling a new course load, meeting new friends and new professors, and taking time for your health and wellness may seem like a lot to handle, but if you take it one step at a time, you’ll be able to get into the rhythm of what works for you. It’s important to adopt good habits and maintain balance between school and personal life.
Here are a few tips to follow when starting a healthy back-to-school routine:
Make sure you get enough sleep
This doesn’t mean you have to stay in every night and miss out on all the fun. It just means accepting that your body and mind need the right amount of sleep in order to function properly. Set a time for yourself to get to bed if you know you have an early class in the morning, and try to avoid pulling all-nighters.
Don’t neglect exercise
Find the time in your schedule to exercise, whether that means hitting the gym for a workout, taking a fitness class, or even just walking around the city. Exercise doesn’t have to be a tedious chore. Taking a walk in the centro storico or through one of Rome’s beautiful parks can be a relaxing way to stay fit and healthy. Just make sure to get away from your books and computer screen for a little while each day: get out and get moving.
Take time for yourself
Alone time is one thing that we often forget about. It can be tiring to constantly be with people: roommates, classmates, friends. Time with your peers is definitely rewarding and fun, but you might get so caught up in your social life that you don’t even realize that you haven’t had some “alone time” in a while. Go by yourself to visit a new museum, treat yourself to some gelato as you take a passeggiata, or find a quiet spot to read a good book. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you remember to take time for yourself at least once a week.
Find a good study space
If you adopt productive study habits early on in the semester, you won’t have to cram when midterms and final exams come up. Find a spot where you can concentrate, whether that is the library, one of the terraces, the Tiber Café, or your apartment. If you are easily distracted by noise, you should stick to a quiet space. If you need the background noise of people to be able concentrate, ask some of your friends to come to the library or a café with you. Everybody’s study habits and preferences are different, but test out what works for you.
Write down assignments, tests, and projects. Get a planner, or record important dates on your phone or computer. This will help you stay up to date on any events or academic deadlines coming up.
The back-to-school time is supposed to have fun! Enjoy getting to know the incoming students, and reconnect with returning students. Pick classes that you enjoy, sign up for clubs and activities, and embrace your role in a community of global citizens.
Alexa Vujaklija (Shearer)
Class of 2015
Grew up in the United States, Germany, the Republic of Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria