College x

We’re not promising it’ll be painless, but these tips can make going back to school a little less terrible.

5 Ways to Cope with the End of Summer

As summer comes to an end for the majority of college students, the stress of registration and a new semester can create much cause for concern.

For both incoming freshman and soon to be alumni, here are five ways to deal with the end of summer.

1. Spend Time with Family

Unless you’re a commuter living at home, the likelihood that you’ll be able to see and spend time with your family during the school year is drastically reduced, as schoolwork piles onto extracurricular activities and the time-constraints of work/school.

5 Ways to Cope with the End of Summer
Photo via The Odyssey

Reaffirming that relationship with your parents and siblings might prove crucial in the initial months of the school year when the surfeit of academic responsibility, readjustment to dorm life and time management problems have you dreaming of the halcyon nights of summer life.

If you’re a first year student and first confronting the realities of living away from home, having this time to reflect with the people you grew up with will establish a firm base on which to ground yourself in the upcoming months.

2. Explore

While talking to your family allows for beneficial past reflection, it’s also important to look toward the future with equal enthusiasm. This means curbing your nostalgia and focusing on the exciting potentialities of the future. Especially for new students, being prepared for the semester before it starts is vital to a successful school year.

Exploring what your college has to offer in terms of courses and extracurricular engagement gives you a greater chance at finding that one club that you stick with until your senior year, or that one course that’ll end up changing your life perspective irrevocably. Exploring these options every single year also informs you as to whether your school has added any updates in terms of new engaging classes or faculty.

Finding new clubs to join can also be a great way to start off a new year on a different foot. College is a time for self-exploration, but you’ll have to know the specific options available to you to then jump into them. Fortunately, most colleges have hundreds of different clubs to join and many of them go unnoticed by incoming freshman, or even returning upperclassmen.

The same goes for course offerings. Take advantage of your colleges open course catalogue and club listings to be aware of the multiple possibilities available to the college student at your institution.

3. Spend Time with Old Friends

In the same vein as spending time with your family, finding time to hang out with your old friends during summer can be a welcome change to the conveyor belt of fantastic new people you may encounter in college.

5 Ways to Cope with the End of Summer
Photo via The Odyssey

Spending time with your old friends might be like resigning yourself to day-old stale bread, or the funky smelling milk at the back of the fridge, but updating each other on the new and old of each other’s lives can be beneficial, even therapeutic. You guys can reflect on how old everyone is now, but not comparably mature.

Having this time to hang out can also help remind you of all the instances that built up to your current stage in life. Most importantly, like spending time with your family, having time to hang out with old friends can provide essential grounding. So before you leave, or in the first few weeks of fall semester, take some time to reconnect with the friends you grew up with, it’ll be worth it.

4. Spend Some Time on Social Media

Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Tumblr, connecting with people on social media can be helpful in finding mutual interests before you meet them face to face. Social media provides endless avenues for connection that allows college students to explore each other’s profiles in an open space.

Often colleges even have their own social media pages, used to update students and prospective students on the goings-on of their students as well as possible events happening on campus. This is a great way for you to keep in touch with the numerous activities that might otherwise go under the radar at your school. If FOMO is real in your college, simply connect to a college student group on Facebook, or find your college’s Instagram to verify the different events happening around campus. Clubs at colleges often utilize these effective communication tools to broadcast their meetings and encourage new members to join.

So whether you’re trying to enroll in a couple new clubs this semester or want to engage with new people at your campus, finding a way to contact them on social media is a great starting point that’ll hopefully segue to a fulfilling correspondence in real life.

5. Reflect

Having two months away from the stresses of school can be liberating for returning students. But for incoming freshman, the months before their first year as college students can be a time full of stressful anticipation. From getting dorm materials ready, acquainting yourself with your roommates and/or pestering your admissions counselor via email, the summer months can easily spiral into a dazed period of frightful uncertainty. But luckily, these periods of mania are intermittent among the vast stretches of relaxed calm associated with summer.

So as the days of long hours and frequent naps draw to a close, take some time to reflect on the past few months. Regardless of what you did this summer, whether that be climbing Mount Everest or sitting on your couch, grazing through the days with intentional self-reflection can help resurface lost nuggets of truth or experience buried beneath the layers of collected memory. It’ll also make memorable moments in the summer that were perhaps a little less than thrilling. Remember that time you stayed up to watch old episodes of “Gilmore Girls” instead of going to sleep? Summer time gold.

On the other hand, if you’ve actually done some worthwhile stuff over the summer, a good amount of reflection could potentially generate wonders of retroactive remembrance that’ll last you for a lifetime. Summer time blues can be overwhelming at this time of the year. Simultaneously drawing from your past while looking toward the future creates a steady balance on which to build yourself throughout the school year. Having to confront these challenges each year means that for you at least, the full-on reality of living outside of college has yet to begin. That in itself should be enough to dispel the gloom of the upcoming semester.

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