The January Blues

Students will soon be dealing with the difficulty of going back to school full-time. The two weeks of winter break are very important for students to revive, recharge, and relax yet many students still feel tired when they walk back into their classroom at 7:30 on Monday morning. This is entirely understandable as most students, especially college prep students, spend well more than the normal 6-8 hours per day studying. So how does one survive that first week back at school?


1. Ease back into it

Students are advised to, of course, attend all of their classes and take appropriate notes but perhaps hold off on intense after school or volunteer activities during the first week back if possible. Of course, students who are taking the SAT or ACT in February will not have this option but they will be able to alleviate the stress by getting the test over and done with (READ: “5 Awesome SAT Apps”).

2. Write down your schedule

It’s easy for a student to forget all of the things that they had to do during the two weeks of winter break. Actually, it’s good for a student to get off schedule and have the chance to sleep in or socialize more, but it’s important to get back on schedule in January. Students who have forgotten their schedule entirely should write it down using either an electronic planner or a good old-fashioned paper calendar. Students can set up reminders on their phone to let them know that their tutor is coming over in an hour or that they have to Skype chat with their study group on Wednesday at 5 pm.

3. Beware of due dates

Many teachers give out exams or have large assignments due the week after coming back from break. Regardless of how students we feel about this, it’s important to keep track of these dates. For many students in Southern California, the grading period ends the last week of January, giving them just three short weeks to either improve their grade or stay on track. It’s essential for students to remember when their important assignments are due. They can either ask a parent, a responsible member of their study group, or a personal tutor to help them remember and stay on track.

4. Eat healthy food and drink lots of water

Almost everybody, regardless of age, enjoyed their fair share of sweets and goodies over the winter holidays. It’s important for students to get back to a healthy eating routine the first week back at school. The more healthy energy a student has, the more likely they will be to get through the day. Following the nutrition guide, including eating plenty of fruits and veggies and getting enough protein, is very important for students to maintain a regimented daily schedule. It’s also extremely important for students to drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent mental dehydration. If the brain is thirsty it doesn’t work as well (READ: “Superfoods and Testing“).

5. Make a social date with friends

Many students will feel slightly bummed out after returning to school because they find that they don’t have nearly as much time to socialize as they did during winter break. Students should try to make social plans the weekend after their first week back at school or arrange to work with a study group of friends so they can talk about how everybody is dealing with adjusting to school.

6. Set a goal and work towards it

For some, the goal will simply be to survive until February break, for others the goal will be to get an excellent score on their February SAT or ACT. Regardless of a personal or academic goal, it’s important for students to have something to look forward. Having a specific goal will force students to maintain an academic schedule in order to reach that goal by a certain date. High school students who are behind on their volunteer hours may set a personal goal to complete 20 volunteer hours by April 1. Goals help us keep on track and encourage self-regulation. As we say goodbye to 2014 and welcome 2015 we also are welcomed back to school (READ: “A Timeline Study Guide for the SAT“).

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