Finding the motivation to stay focused in classes after spring break may seem difficult, but it’s not impossible.
Plattsburgh State Director of the Career Development Center Julia Overton-Healy said reworking calendars and revisiting academic goals from the past semester are key to transitioning back into student mode.
“Things can get lost in the shuffle during the academic year, so take some time and reorganize yourself,” Healy said. “Build out a fresh timeline, a fresh calendar and you can see what you have coming at you over the course of the next couple of months.”
PSUC Senior English Writing Arts Major Kayla Tuttle started using her calendar after spring break to manage her hectic schedule.
“Before spring break, [the semester] was very busy and disorganized, so I’m trying to get myself back on track,” Tuttle said.
SUNY Student Assembly Deputy Director of Academic Affairs Tim Miller organizes his Google Drive files for each class and ensures he has completed all his assignments for the week.
“On the first Monday back I look at my syllabus and see if there’s anything that needs to get done,” Miller said. “I try to get a head start so I won’t fall behind.”
Along with sorting files and planners, organizing one’s living space after spring break can help relieve stress and remove potential distractions.
Miller believes a clean room is a clean mind. When he returns to campus, he rearranges the furniture in his room.
“I’ll switch my desk to the other side of my bed,” Miller said. “It creates a new experience. It’s a constant improvement and a good feeling of getting into the idea of thinking. “
When the mid-semester blues kick in, Healy suggested finding a balance between completing work and focusing on mental health and personal growth.
“When you’re run down and feeling like you’re not having any fun in your life, it’s really hard to stay motivated to do the important work,” Healy said. “Figure out a way to practice new self- care strategies.”
PSUC Sophomore Art Major Erin Doescher keeps herself driven after the break by exercising at Memorial Hall.
“Going to the gym, staying active and walking really helps,” Doescher said.
Whether it’s meditating for 10 minutes a day, lifting weights or reconnecting with friends on campus, practicing self care allows students to settle back into the college atmosphere.
“Taking a mental step back and getting yourself reorganized is a good way to reinforce what are high priority items and what are things that can take less attention,” Healy said.
Establishing a consistent sleep schedule prepares students for the following weeks.
The National Sleep Foundation recommended adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each day in order to properly function and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, on average, college students only get six hours of sleep.
A study from the journal, Scientific Reports, showed irregular sleep cycles in college students resulted in lower grade point averages and overall academic performance.
Healthy sleep cycles can help students regain focus and remain alert during class.
The week after spring break is an ideal time to take care of academic concerns from the semester.
“Don’t ignore the big monster in the room, deal with the monster,” Healy said. “As soon as you put a plan in place, you’re going to feel like you’re back in control.”
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