Warning, this post is a little more advice-y than usual. After a long summer of eating junk food and watching Netflix, going back to school can be a huge drag. I remember the summer that I discovered Tumblr, I lost contact with most of my friends and basically became this creepy hermit. Then one summer I worked in a stressful environment at a summer camp and got horrible acne scarring and I remember being so afraid to go back to school looking like that. Insecurities about gaining or losing weight, having breakouts or just having to see people after a while can cause a bunch of anxiety about going back to school. This September, I’m starting my first year of university at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus so I know all too well the jitters of starting your education in a whole new environment. I recently had my orientation and academic counselling at the university and it was so daunting just to see how many new students were in my faculty alone and how few of them were familiar faces. Today, I bring to you some tips that I am going to try to follow to make the transition from Summer more bearable.

  • Smile – I know, this is the first tip in every self-help article and you’re tired of hearing it. You don’t want to smile, you have to endure hours of classes, annoying teachers and wake up before 11 AM. Sometimes When I’m feeling down, I look in the mirror and I fake a smile until it looks real and by that time, it usually is real. Charles Darwin wrote that “The free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it” and I have to agree!
  • Entertain Yourself – Read a book (I suggest the Divergent series by Veronica Roth), start a new TV series (BBC’s Doctor Who and Sherlock are amazing) or find a hobby. I chose blogging as a hobby so as I’m sitting here typing this, I’m following my own advice. Writing this article is occupying myself so that I don’t have to think about school starting next week. Of course, all in moderation. You still need time for your actual responsibilities.
  • Talk to Someone – Anyone. A friend, older sibling, someone who took the same courses you’re taking or even a stranger on Omegle. Meet someone doing the same major as you. You can even leave me a message on the blog’s Facebook. Just expressing how you feel often makes you feel better. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone, write down how you feel in a journal.
  • Organize – I don’t know about you, but it always makes me feel better to move stuff around, place labels and sort through old stuff. Tidy up some old school stuff from last year, throw away what you don’t need. Create a work environment where you can study. Get rid of old clothes. It’s exhausting sometimes but so rewarding. Finish off with a cup of tea and an episode of your favourite series in your new space. 
  • Work It Out – Go for an early morning jog/walk, drink a yummy natural smoothie and feel accomplished. Not only will it boost your confidence for back-to-school but you’ll actually feel better and have more energy.
  • Dress to Impress – There’s nothing that builds up my confidence more than a good outfit. Wear your favourite shoes, try a beanie, get a fancy new bag that goes with everything. It’s the small details that most people overlook that can make it for you.
It’s okay to be nervous, to not know anyone and to feel like you’re being flooded with university jargon – that’s the whole point of the experience! I hope this helped someone, I’m not an advice guru and I’m going through the same anxiety so these are just my personal quick-fixes.

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