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Avoid post spring break rut with these nuggets of wisdom

Following spring break, students have to deal with a tidal wave of essays and midterms — how can they manage that daunting task? – Photo by Ice You

Spring break is simultaneously one of the most exciting and worrying times of the semester for college students. It’s exciting because it’s finally a time to relax and take a few days off from school.

But it always goes by way too quickly and we suddenly have to reverse back into hardworking study mode. So how do we handle that transition as effectively as possible?

The truth is, I don’t have all the answers. But I am coming up on my third spring break at Rutgers, so I do have some experience in dealing with the rude awakening that comes with the end of the recess.

I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never had too many midterms to study for during spring break, but I know that’s not the case for everyone. Whether you’re off the hook with exams or have a ton of studying to do, I think all of us deserve at least a few days to relax and take our minds off of school.

So if I have any strong advice, I’d say give yourself at least the first three days of spring break to chill, spend time with friends and family and do things that you actually enjoy that you normally don't have time for.

After that rest period, you might want to start preparing for the transition back to school. Getting back into the swing of things is rough, especially if you’ve just gotten back from traveling or have completely switched up your sleep schedule to spend late nights with friends.

As annoying as it is to wake up early on days when you don’t have to, I’ve found that slowly starting to readjust my sleep schedule to prepare to go to classes again can make the transition out of spring break way smoother for me.

Now I’m not saying I normally get up at 7 a.m. — although I wish I could be that kind of morning person — but trying to be up around 9 a.m. on break definitely makes waking up early when classes start again feel way easier. Plus, it'll help get everything crossed off your spring break to-do list a lot quicker.

When you do have to do homework over the break, I’ve found that it can help to plan study days with friends or do some work outside and enjoy the nice spring weather — if it’s not snowing in March.

While it still sucks to be stuck doing homework or cramming for exams on your days off, making these small changes, like turning studying into a group activity or changing up your surroundings, can make doing schoolwork less stressful and mundane.

If the first few days of spring break are set aside for relaxing, assigning work to the last couple of days is a good way to ensure that you have plenty of time to both relax and get back into focus mode over the course of the week.

Although, I would recommend giving yourself that last Sunday to chill if possible. The dread of the last day of break is already bad enough, don't make it worse by leaving stuff until the last minute.

Whether you’re traveling across the world or staying at home for spring break, I hope these ideas can help you make the best use of your time and make getting back to school easier.

At the end of the day, your break should be a time when you can prioritize yourself and do things that make you feel happy and calm. So don’t stress yourself out thinking you have to perfectly plan out your break!

Enjoy the time you have off, and hopefully, these tips will help make the transition back to school as smooth as possible.

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