Pitfalls of getting back to school after the Christmas holidays

winter semester

Spending a couple of weeks away from campus is what most students dream of during a cold and dull fall semester. What can be more fulfilling than finally resting after exhausting exams and putting your homework away for weeks? Whether you opted for decorating a Christmas tree at your parents’ house or going on vacation with friends, winter holidays are a lot of fun. 

Now, it’s time to get back to school, but some post-holiday realities can be pretty upsetting. Here are some common January blues that may disappoint any student when Christmas vacation comes to an end. Still, there are ways to fight them all and start enjoying your student life this new year.  

Feeling exhausted before the new term begins

Christmas holidays are supposed to bring comfort and joy for everyone; however, it often happens that family gatherings cause major stress. For instance, you might need to communicate with certain relatives whom you do not like on a personal level. Possibly, you simply hate receiving another ugly Christmas sweater knitted by your granny who expects you to wear it on every family occasion over the next year. 

Even if you have perfect, kind and warm relationships with your relatives, holidays often engage you in self-damaging behaviors, like binge-eating, drinking a little too much, or watching Netflix day-and-night. Having spent Christmas like this, there is no need to wonder why you get really worn out by the end of the holidays. 

Avoiding family stress can be really difficult. If you can barely get along with your relatives, consider paying them a short visit and continuing your vacation elsewhere with friends. If you do stay for a week or two with your parents, try not to overindulge yourself. Do not eat or drink too much. Watch a movie in the afternoon and try to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Remember that you can still enjoy your holiday without consuming too much of anything that might cause discomfort later.

winter holidays

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Being unable to get up before 11 A.M.

Once you start binge-watching TV shows or partying all night, you could get used to waking up around noon. During the holidays, this might seem alright to you. However, it will take considerable time and effort to reset your circadian clock once you get back to school. Unfortunately, many of us are night owls who are expected to get up for morning classes. Therefore, this requires some adjustments to our holiday schedules. 

Whatever it is you do at night instead of sleeping, try to manage it during daytime even when you do not have to wake up early the next day. Go to bed before midnight and make few exceptions to this rule. This way, you will not have your circadian rhythms disturbed. Later, your body will thank you for maintaining your schedule when you do not have to force yourself out of bed for morning classes. 

Being overwhelmed with relentless homework

No matter how you spent Christmas 2019, you will not be happy to get back to completing your homework. As the holidays pass, you may feel invigorated and ready to hit the books really hard this semester. However, this enthusiasm couldd easily vanish as soon as the first assignments come. 

In many cases, a perfectionist mindset is a hurdle between you and your productivity. If you become really upset once you realize you cannot perform as well as you would like, this is a sign that you need to lighten your burden. Take a look at your tasks and realistically decide which ones you can complete today and which should wait until tomorrow. Delegate some of your homework if you find it too complex or nonessential. Remember that it is not a disaster if you cannot complete every assignment. It is just a part of college life, and it happens to everyone. 

students' problems

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Having little motivation for studying during the new season 

Few students ask that strong motivation to study to be placed in their Christmas stockings. From the moment you leave campus for the holidays, you might be pretty sick of school. For many, things change as they return to campus for the new semester. Students have at least a little more energy to take on studies than they did before Christmas. However, you may feel like the curriculum is a little too demanding, and you can hardly bear it from the first day of the winter semester. In such a case, burnout can be the reason. 

Completing college takes only a few years of your life, but it takes more to settle into an occupation you like and make some progress. If you are a freshman, think about whether you really like the field you have selected and whether you will be content with your future profession. It is not too late to make a new start. If you are determined to keep on with your studies, then decide what is important to you about this field. Learn to like at least something about what you are doing every day. Doing so is of major importance to your overall well-being.

Experiencing “winter blues”

We, as humans, are social beings, but we are also animals. It is only natural that you cannot feel happy when its chilly and dark outside. Lack of sunlight makes everyone sleepy, which is like pushing college top-performers to slow down and save their energy until it can be easily restored on warmer, sunnier days. Of course, the so-called winter depression affects many students, especially when xmas fun is over. If you feel sad and moody for no reason upon returning to campus, there is no point in waiting until summer to address the problem. You can make things better right away. 

A great way to tackle winter blues as well as stress and anxiety is to find a hobby that will make your days brighter. Think of what you have dreamed of but have not tried yet. Find an activity that will bring you joy and delight every week, and you will forget about the miserable weather. Doing what you love is always the key to living a happy life, and it is not necessarily studying that makes you feel content. 

seasonal depression

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If you have ever taken a wonderful Christmas vacation, you know how hard it is to get back to your studies. If you are an individual who never actually rests, you are certainly going to feel exhausted before the new term begins. Whatever your case is, fill your days with pleasant activities and focus on the positive things about your college routine. At first it may be difficult to focus on the bright side, but over time you will start enjoying your life much more with little effort. 

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Published by
Rebecca Jenkins
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Rebecca has been a freelance writer since 2010. She travels often and is constantly learning something new. Also, Rebecca is a true enthusiast of social sciences, especially of psychology. She gladly shares her experience of enjoying life and finding inspiration across the US and abroad.