From Summer to School: A Survival Guide
“Unfair” is the best way to describe it. That feeling of there being fewer sunlight hours, the weather getting cooler, and the knowledge that those long days of freedom are about to be swapped for the classroom. Just like that, summer break is done. Getting back into the school spirit is not the most pleasant of adjustments, but it does not have to be torture. It is important to get back into the school mood slowly, and to focus energy on the good things that lay ahead as opposed to the fun times being left behind.
The best approach is to start that adjustment during the last two weeks of August. You may be sleeping and waking up at random times, so start going to bed a bit earlier each night. Planning daytrips or fun activities for early in the day can help to ensure and actually encourage an early bedtime, as well as a better morning routine. Take advantage of back-to-school sales to stock up on pens, pencils, paper, and more well before August ends. Intersperse these errands with fun but equally important shopping outings such as new clothes for autumn. Finally, instead of organizing and throwing out last year’s schoolwork in June, wait for the last weeks of August. At that point, going through everything to see what to keep and what to discard acts simultaneously as a way to get back into your work and as a refresher for your brain on learned material you may have forgotten.
Once classes do begin, some students naturally fare better than others. Mental health counsellor Matthew Thatcher has noted many more students coming forward with symptoms of depression in the first two weeks of the school year. A large part of this can be broken down into two groups. There are the unknowns, such as new classmates, and the knowns, such as the fact that the work will be more difficult than last year. Having in-depth talks with your parents, close friends, or professionals, including guidance counsellors or therapists, can make a major difference. With the weather cooling and September feeling dreary, it is important not to retreat into your laptop or phone. Social media is a weak replacement for human connection, and its addiction can worsen the effects of anxiety or depression.
Instead, realign that energy towards what is ahead. New classmates often equal new friends. The fall months are filled with lovely colours and fun events such as Halloween, and act as a lovely contrast from the summer days that can often blend into one another. Each new schoolyear is a stepping stone in your education. You are going to get that much smarter, that much more knowledgeable, and that much more prepared for the future.
The last days of summer are a farewell to sleeping in, staying up late, and many hours outdoors. On the other hand, they are also a prelude to the adventures ahead. The change in daily activities is jarring, so a slow transition is a must. Focusing on the ways that the schoolyear trumps the summertime is also beneficial. There are holidays and events to look forward to and new people to meet. Summer may be fun, but the rest of the year offers far more variety.
Luz, Andres, Caroline Sudduth and Whitney Young. “Back To School, Back To Blues.” HuffPost. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/05/back-to-school-blues_n_3876192.html
Pinola, Melanie. “How to Get your Kids Back Into School Mode Before Summer Ends.” Lifehacker. http://lifehacker.com/why-you-hold-grudges-about-things-that-happened-in-your-1798139034