Updated: Nov 22, 2019
By: Tasnin Khan
September means back to school shopping, anticipating Fall Fashion (let’s be honest, arguably the best season for fashion), and the reappearance of Pumpkin Spice Lattes in offices and libraries near you. This summer feels like it flew by just when it was really getting started - but fall is a great time to get back into the swing of a routine and start fresh. If you are returning back to campus for college or starting/continuing grad school, here are a few tips to get your head back in the game:
1. Create a strong morning routine
If you are anything like me, mornings can be tough. No matter how much sleep I get, I am just not a morning person and it’s so hard to motivate myself to wake up. Regardless, starting the day early sets the tone for a productive day. Lately, I have been making it a point to try to do my workouts in the morning to get myself pumped up or listen to a curated playlist of uplifting music. Whatever it is for you, do that so you start off and end on a strong note!
2. Make lists --start with the thing that is most tedious and work your way down
It’s no secret that college and graduate school can definitely get to be overwhelming - your life has to be planned around school. One way to help yourself get organized and get centered is making lists. I have found that what helps with procrastination and stress levels is taking care of the most tedious or difficult subject/assignment first. This way, you can clear your mental space for the rest of the tasks that need to be taken care of!
3. Set timers on social media and expected distractions
Each semester, I find myself needing to delete my Instagram app from my phone come exam time. I know me, and when I don’t set limits or if I get stressed, I find myself easily opening it up for a distraction. Most of the time, it isn’t even worth it but then 30 minutes have already passed by! If you find yourself on Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, or really anything that is taking up too much of your time and energy, try to set boundaries like using apps that will limit your social media usage or if you are up for it- delete the app temporarily (not deactivate) like me.
4. Align yourself with your goals
September feels a lot more like a new year to me in a lot of ways than January. Take this time to set goals for yourself - be it reaching out to a few contacts this semester whose career paths interest you/seem similar to something you may want to pursue, or mastering certain classes, or sharpening your public speaking skills. Whatever it may be, write it down to make it real. Is this a goal that you have set for yourself before but haven’t quite been able to make work? Evaluate what it is that hasn’t made it work in the past if so, and don’t beat yourself up for it - just dust yourself off, reflect so you can improve your approach, and try again! These goals can also be outside of the classroom. For example, I have made it a goal to make time to attend a Yoga class once a week as a new wellness practice to help me gain balance as Med School starts to ramp up more and more.
5. Keep a strong squad around you, ALWAYS!
When things get stressful, make sure that you don’t bottle it all in. It’s okay to get overwhelmed and when you go through it - know that you have a support system around you and also people that will tell it like it is and hold you accountable. This way, you girls can all mutually grow and kill it this semester and beyond.
Sending you the best of luck and light as you embark on this fresh new semester! You got this girl.