Coming back to school is a struggle

Jessica Guerrucci – Managing Editor

Rolling out of bed at 7 a.m., the fight for a parking spot, cold air biting at my face as I run from Pelz to Jennings Hall doors to find some warmth — all these familiar things tell me winter break is, in fact, over.

The blissful days of hiding out under the covers of my bed until noon have ceased, the many empty days are suddenly full, but the transition back is not always smooth. The odd thing about winter break that makes it unlike summer break is that it is just long enough to relax, but short enough that you cannot get too comfortable.

Winter break is also a complete switch up, especially if you live on campus. You stuff your life into a few bags for a month, move out of the dorms, and go from having full freedom to do as you please to back under your parents roof and their rules once again.

It is also one thing to return to school when the grass is green and the sun is shining and three months to rest was more than enough. It is now cold, the days are short and motivation is just not there. The impact of winter hits hard for some of us and makes it not so easy to get back to the flow of things.

According to Psychology Today, the shorter day causes us to be out of sync with our natural circadian rhythm, and in the winter we produce more melatonin, meaning serotonin levels go down which can create feelings of sluggishness, loss of motivation, excess sleepiness and sad or anxious moods.

Now, I would not say the break was not needed, because it definitely was, but I imagine I am not the only one who struggles to come back to school. Professors are not waiting for any of us to catch up either. “Syllabus week” is no more — they are just jumping right in. It feels like you’ve been cruising along for the past month and now someone has just slammed on the gas pedal. In that case, however, sometimes it is better than having to introduce yourself to five different classrooms full of people, even though I know we all love those icebreakers so much.

I am, however, trying to keep in mind that it is going to get better. Transitions are never easy to make and it is okay if it takes some time to get reorganized and get back on track. School does not have to be stressful if you manage your time right and take care of yourself.

No matter how impossible it may seem, we all have to make it until May somehow. Until then, take in some sunshine whenever you can get it, try to get to sleep at a somewhat decent time and, even though it is not break anymore, do not forget to take time for yourself every now and then.

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