“New year, new me” is a phrase commonly said on New Year’s Eve. It symbolizes a time to reflect on yourself and prepare to have the best year of your life. For students, however, January is right in the middle of a school year and not the most opportune time for a big change.
The transition between summer and fall, on the other hand, is the perfect time. With the end of the summer season and the beginning of fall, it presents the perfect opportunity to reflect and make whatever character enhancements you see fit as a new school semester approaches. It’s time to prepare for the parts of the school year that are more than just schoolwork and recognize how college in general is as much a time for personal growth as it is for academics.
Balance free time and productivity
With so much free time during this transition period, it can also feel like time is running out as classes move from curriculum week. It’s important to find a balance between tying up the loose ends of summer and getting a fresh start on school. Although a lot of free time is provided during these weeks, that availability can also bring about different struggles. You can find yourself with too many things on your schedule that you want to do. Others may not know where to start managing their free time in the first place. To tackle this dilemma, it’s best to find the things you want to prioritize and focus on completing them before anything else, and there’s more than one way to do that.
No matter how you decide to spend your time, the key to managing your availability is to find the balance so that you don’t spend too much time doing nothing or spending it so stressed about upcoming academics that it’s like school never ends in the first place.
Of course, there is a time and a place for nights in, as everyone is different and enjoys different things. However, one way to combat a depression is to come up with a few different goals that you want to achieve. Compile a list of the things you most want to do and focus on completing them first; this way it won’t be overwhelming trying to balance everything you want to achieve. This management system not only helps break down your to-do list, but also sets a schedule to ensure due dates are met as well.
Another thing to consider when choosing your goals is what kinds of activities relax you and what activities give you energy instead of depleting it. The transition to college is not meant to be stress-inducing, and each person has different needs and views relaxation differently.
If you’re the type to get energized by others, prioritize hanging out with friends or family. This will ensure that you have time with your loved ones in case classes take that time away from you. With good weather there are plenty of activities you can plan. Picnics are easy, COVID-19 friendly, and can be as extravagant or casual as you like. On the other hand, if you prefer to spend your free time alone to de-stress, but don’t want to do anything yet, you can read a new book or explore more artistic passions. In this way, your mind is distracted from busy schedules and focused on something enjoyable.
For freshmen starting their academic journey, it can be difficult to balance home life with college life, especially in a social sense, as it can be easy to focus on college while on campus and ignore home altogether. and vice versa. But balance should be a priority, not an afterthought: “New year, new me” doesn’t have to mean starting completely new and erasing the old. It is possible to be the same person you were before while continuing to improve and expect a period of growth in your new environment.
Another tool you can use to stay mindful is to create a vision board. How do you see your year going? could be online using pinterest or a fun activity to implement in your bedroom. Visualizing your goals is just the first step. Setting deadlines or simply reminding yourself of what you want to achieve is the best motivator to make sure your plans don’t just live in your head.
Although productivity isn’t always equated with academic achievement, deciding which creative endeavors to undertake can be just as stressful. Simply taking the time to reflect on your last school year and taking advantage of this time off before the next one is a healthy accomplishment on its own. Students are everywhere and they come in all shapes and sizes. Therefore, the most important thing to consider when planning your free time is to prioritize yourself and what you need to do to stay relaxed and ready for the year ahead.