A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

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Navigating the transition from summer to back-to-school: Guest column by Jenna Williams

Navigating the transition from summer to back-to-school: Guest column by Jenna Williams

Oak Leaf Staff
Students read in the afternoon light in Doyle Library at the start of the Fall 2022 semester.

As we prepare ourselves for the switch from flip flops and sun-soaked days to crisp autumn leaves, a new school year awaits us. After months of relaxation, freedom and perhaps even travel, returning to the world of academia can feel overwhelming. For many of us, the leisurely-paced summer days brought a sense of peace and freedom from academic deadlines and responsibilities. As those days are gone, this adjustment of schedules and daily routines can be overwhelming, and it is important to maintain our mental well-being through this time.

It is completely normal to feel out of touch with school and yourself after all these months. However, the time has come when we should be aligning ourselves with our goals and academic aspirations. Although it might be hard at first for some of us, recognizing and acknowledging these feelings is the first step toward nurturing your mental health. 

Here are tips on how to help smooth the transition as well as maintain overall mental well-being this fall Semester.

Prioritizing mental health is a challenging task that requires setting realistic expectations for the school year and accepting that we will all at some point make academic mistakes. It also includes recognizing that everyone’s journey in life is different and that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Doing this will relieve the unnecessary pressure that many students end up placing on themselves.

Another important tip is to try to maintain a healthy daily routine. During the summer, many students tend to develop irregular sleep patterns and unhealthy eating habits. Usually, when students lack a regular and well-balanced daily schedule, they often become disorganized and easily drained .Starting the school year healthy by developing a nutritious diet and a regular sleep schedule will provide students with the energy they need to be productive and to maintain a balanced mindset.

Having effective time management skills is also very important because it is easy to get distracted and lose sight of the goals at hand. Creating a proper schedule while also allowing time for leisure is a great way to manage time. We can do these by using Google Calendar, getrevising.co.uk, or the Notion app. By separating tasks into manageable chunks, students are better able to manage their time and foster a sense of academic confidence. Remember, balance is key. Not only should we be allocating time for school but also for social interactions so that we don’t burn out from academic stress.

Another great tip is to prioritize self-care. The demands of school can be tough but setting aside time for yourself is important for maintaining mental well-being. Whether it be reading a book, going for walks, getting a pedicure or just doing your favorite hobby, you are allowing your brain to get a rest and recover from the heavy demands of school.

Let’s not forget about having a good support system for when the skies turn gray. Creating friendships may be tough in the first few weeks but engaging with like-minded people can be beneficial. You can do this by joining clubs and attending campus events. By doing this, you are creating a sense of belonging. Having this support system can provide not only enjoyment but also a listening ear during difficult times.

The transition from summer to back-to-school is a difficult time for many college students; however, implementing these tips can make the transition much smoother and more enjoyable.

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