After a month of laying around and watching Netflix over winter break, it can be difficult to get back on that work grind. It’s an issue a lot of students face — you’ve been sitting in your house, going out with friends in your hometown and spending time with your family, so it’s natural that you would have some trouble sitting back down to ace your spring semester courses. Here are five tips to help you get serious about school again!
Get a new planner
It’s 2016, which means stores are stocked with shiny, new stationery for the new year. A new, clean planner can make getting organized fun. It’s a fresh year, so get a fresh planner to match! If you’re going paperless and you want to have everything online, you can still start something new. If you use Google Chrome, you can download a free extension called Momentum, which displays a daily photo every time you open a tab, your to-do list and your main focus for the day. This way, every time you go to open a new tab to watch YouTube videos or waste time on Facebook, this extension gives you a friendly reminder of what you have to do today.
Download a website blocker
Along the same lines, if you have a problem getting distracted online, a browser extension like StayFocusd will help you stay productive. You can put in the websites you want to block and for how long, then sit down and do homework. It’s really helpful, especially if you’ve spent winter break on these sites and you’re used to being on them without restrictions now. You can also set an amount of time per day you are allowed to browse your blocked sites. There are also some other features to help you not waste your time.
Get out of bed
Where did you spend most of your time during winter break? Whether it was watching movies on the couch or in bed scrolling through your Instagram feed, get up and get out! Restrict your bed to only sleeping, and designate a new spot in your room for yourself to hang out during the day. Just because you want to stay awake doesn’t mean it has to be totally uncomfortable! Get a cozy desk chair, and maybe a light blanket to settle down and work.
It’s not a myth that staying active will help you focus better. Plus, Rutgers makes it really convenient since there are so many gyms across campus you can use. Take a look at your new schedule for the semester and find a certain time each day (or week, if you’re just starting and you’re a busy bee) to hit the gym. Set a goal to keep yourself motivated, and if you meet that goal reward yourself. For instance, if you work out five times a week, reward yourself by going out with your friends on Friday night. If you don’t, spend the night studying. A great way to make sure you are fulfilling your goals is by joining a class at the gym! Rutgers offers a variety of different classes you can check out — if you really want to get into the study mindset, yoga is an excellent option to get in the mood to focus.
It’s well after New Year’s at this point, but it’s never too late to make a change. Make resolutions for the spring semester, and remember to compare yourself to your own previous semesters, not your friend who has a 4.0, an internship, two jobs and who is an engineering major. Again, reward yourself, set a goal for the semester and don't be too hard on yourself. There is always room for a fresh start. Follow a few of these tips and getting back on that work grind won’t be so hard. You can plan on acing your semester and then having another amazing break!