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Ways to Get Back into the Swing of High School After Winter Break

The holidays can provide a much-needed break from classes, school work, extracurriculars and more. While some students can switch from baking cookies to producing papers with no problem, others might have a difficult time focusing or getting back into the swing of their academic routines after a three- or four-week break.

if visions of sugar plums are still dancing in your head, and you feel the end of the school year seems like lightyears away, don’t panic.Keep reading for tips and tricks that can help you transition back into the school year after a long winter break!

Plan ahead

Have you ever jumped in for a quick shower only to jump right back out because you discovered the water was unbearably hot? If this has ever happened to you, then you probably know that the best way to get yourself adjusted to a hot shower is to let the water heat up gradually, starting it off at a comfortable, warm temperature, then adding more hot water as you see fit.

You should try to approach your return to school that same way—if you try to jump right in, you might get burned, but if you make gradual adjustments, you’ll find yourself comfortable, adjusting and doing well! Transitioning from a relatively easy schedule to a busy one, you may find difficult, but by planning ahead you can make things much easier on yourself!

It would be very hard, for example, if you had to go from sleeping in until noon every day to suddenly waking up at the crack of dawn, five days a week. To avoid this kind of shock to your system, you should try to go to bed and wake up one hour earlier for several days the week before you need to be back at school.

The same thing goes for doing your schoolwork—it’s very hard to go from doing no work at all to reading 100+ pages per week. If you don’t have any homework due over your break, then try to read a book at least a week before school starts to get back in the habit of reading! The book can be anything: Maybe you’ll decide to re-read your favorite novel or maybe you’ll pick up that book that you have been wanting to read. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, perhaps you could even jumpstart reading the book that you know you’ll have to tackle as soon as you return to school following your break!

If you do have homework assignment over winter break, try to make a schedule so that you can finish it before school starts, rather than cramming it all in at the last minute and then having to go back to school immediately—talk about a buzzkill!

Set goals! Don’t procrastinate!

The New Year is a great time to think about how your year went—what was successful for you? What would you like to do differently this year?

Maybe you want to finally get rid of your pesky procrastination habit, or maybe you want to make the honor roll. Perhaps you want to join that extracurricular you’ve been thinking about joining, or maybe you’ve resolved to finally ask out your crush!

Whatever your aspirations are, setting goals is a wonderful way to motivate yourself to keep your own promises. So, when the new year rings in, think about those goals you’d like to set, both long and short term, and then think about how you’d like to plan for them: they could be New Year’s Resolutions or just general goals for school. Once you commit yourself to what you want to accomplish, you will find it’s a lot easier to reach those goals than you think!

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Set a schedule

If you know that school is going to be brutal once winter break is finished, try setting a schedule to help you get more done. This could be a weekly schedule, a monthly calendar or a daily to do-list, whatever works best for you. A lot of people benefit greatly from having a visual representation of the amount of time in the day compared to how much work they need to do. You might also consider trying out different scheduling methods to see which one ends up being the most productive!

When you are making your schedule, be sure to leave in time for your obligations, school and otherwise, your SAT/ACT prep, your extracurriculars, and volunteering that you might do, exercise, time with your friends, and all the other little activities that make you who you are!

Be Patient

Finally, be sure not to be too hard on yourself. Transitioning is never easy, especially if you’ve had a very big change of pace during winter break. Everyone struggles with adjustments like this, you might even notice that your parents have a hard time going back to work after a few days of holiday break.

If you can, try to plan in some extra breaks and downtime during the first week that you are back at school. You might even consider doing something extra nice for yourself at the end of the first week, that way you can have something to look forward to. Maybe this will mean taking a nice long bath, buying yourself a new book or a new journal, or even starting on that new season of your favorite show that you’ve been waiting to binge-watch.

Keep in mind that even if you plan ahead, you might not be able to jump back into the swing of things right away—and that’s okay! Just as long as you’re patient with yourself and learn not to criticize yourself too harshly, we’re sure that you’ll be back to your old school-year self in no time. And no matter what happens, there are only 6 months left until summer break!

Final Thoughts

Getting back into the swing of things after a long break won’t be easy, but with some thoughtful planning, it can be made significantly easier. If you feel yourself starting to panic, just stick to the plan—plan ahead, set goals, set a schedule, and be kind to yourself! With a little patience, you’d be surprised at how far you can go.

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