The Swing of Things: A How-To On Getting Back Into University Life

It is with great sadness that I begin writing this article. It feels as though this summer has flown by, and it is not difficult to admit the three hazy months have not only given me a fantastic tan but have wiped away every single, perfectly planned, university habit I had formed. You know the feeling – when it feels strange to be putting pen to paper again, logging onto MySaint seems foreign, and life in St Andrews still seems so far away.

Each time I have returned to school, I always seem to fall into the same trap. I am not ready to let go of summer. I am not ready to put an actual coat on to suit the Scottish weather, and I am certainly not ready to sit myself in the St Andrews library for ungodly hours. When I get back, I am not switched on and I am far from getting back into the ‘swing of things.’ It takes me longer to get settled and to get used to the workload again. This semester, I am determined to change this. Here are a few of the habits I have decided to take up in the weeks leading up to the start of classes that will hopefully make the transition back into university life much smoother.

  1. Start reading again. And no, I don’t mean that fantasy book that’s edging itself up the bestseller’s list.

I have so enjoyed being able to crack onto my personal fiction reading list this summer, a feat that seems almost unthinkable with the stress of deadlines on the horizon. However, starting to reintroduce academic literature into the rotation helps immensely when trying to get back into the right headspace for school, and those lengthy articles that your tutor assigns right off the bat won’t seem as impossible.

  1. Start reaching out to your school friends.

Everyone takes time off during the summer to recharge and relax. This may mean that you haven’t been as active on messenger, or other forms of social media. This is the time to start reaching out to those people you haven’t seen since May! Start making coffee plans for when you’re back or have a quick catch-up over the phone. It’s a big adjustment coming back, but getting back into this habit will make it all the more smoother.

  1. Sketch out a rough idea of your schedule.

There’s nothing worse than feeling flustered or unprepared during the first week of classes. You can easily find your timetable online, and by saving this somewhere or copying it out you’ll be

much more aware of what you need to do and where you need to be well in advance. Just one less stress out of the way!

  1. Invest in some fancy stationary.

Is no one else who doesn’t live in the UK overly excited to get back to Paperchase? Having the right planner, the perfect pen, and a couple of new notebooks in the wings make me so much more motivated to get back into the mood of taking notes and attending class.

  1. Get excited!

The Union’s Facebook page is already posting about Freshers’ Week events! And I know I have already bought my Starfields ticket. It might seem hard to drag yourself away from home or holiday, but getting yourself excited for all the fun nights out to come with your friends ensure that you come back to St Andrews fired up and ready for what’s to come.

Getting back into the swing of university life can be a daunting task, but using these habits to mentally prepare yourself will hopefully help ease us all back into it. See you all in September!

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