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How to beat the post-holiday blues

With semester one just around the corner, we’re sure that some of you are feeling the ‘post-holiday blues’. Whether you’ve spent the summer buried in part-time work or you’ve taken a well-deserved break, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things after having a few months off.

Early mornings, running between classes and writing last minute assignments may not be at the top of your wish list.

So how exactly do you restore your uni routine? Read on for our five survival tips.

  • Get organised and up-to-date.
    Before heading back to uni, make an attempt to get organised. Whether this means reading through the semester’s course guides or the assigned reading list, filling in your diary with important events (such as O-Week or exam periods) or even just starting your stationary shopping a week early, going back to uni is a lot easier if you start the new year prepared for classes and up-to-date.
  • Work out your budget.
    If you’ve spent the summer working, it’s likely that you’ve had a bit more cash to splash around than during semester. Unfortunately, going back to uni means cutting back on paid work and tightening budgets. You may need to re-assess your weekly income against expenses such as living costs (board, rent and utilities), public transport, food and entertainment... and cut back on the not-so-necessary. Another thing to remember is that most uni students are in the same boat, so living ‘on the cheap’ is not as difficult (or as unhealthy) as it seems. If you’re a new student, scope out the area around your campus for student deals, which usually include anything from lunch specials to discounted clothing.
  • Make a list of goals for the year.
    Although many students cringe at the idea of goal-making, this is a good way to get motivated before classes start. It might mean researching activities you’d like to try (writing for the student magazine, for example) or vowing to improve on results achieved last year. If you struggle to arrive on time to early lectures, this may be as simple as making an effort to get up a little earlier.
  • Re-consider your sleeping routine.
    It’s a good idea to rethink your sleeping patterns. Sleeping in until midday or staying up all night aren’t a problem over summer but can be a difficult habit to shake once the semester starts. If you can, attempt a trial run before your first class and that first early wake-up may be a little bit easier!
  • Create a healthy balance.
    Finally — going back to uni shouldn’t mean that you neglect your health. Putting together a simple exercise schedule or organising to catch up with friends can help you strike you a good study/life balance. At times, maintaining a social life may seem difficult — especially with exams and assignments back in the mix — but going back to uni and ‘social hibernation’ do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. It’s important to allocate some time away from your studies — even if all you can manage is a quick catch-up over coffee or a weekly study session with uni friends.

Starting a new semester shouldn't be stressful, so come back to these five tips if it becomes a little too hard to manage. Remember — if you’re feeling under pressure or need help with your studies, you can arrange to have a chat with course coordinators or on-campus counsellors, who can address your questions or concerns.

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