How to make returning to studies easier after the summer break

It can feel really daunting heading back to school, college or university after a substantial time away from studying. I’ve definitely experienced this feeling, and sometimes it can feel difficult finding the drive to get back in the swing of things. That being said, here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way to make things feel a little bit easier and more manageable after the summer break.

Me by the University lake at the start of my second year! (Sept 2020)

Creating a timetable 

Making a timetable can really help to settle you back into the routine of studying and can help in mapping out all of the tasks you need to get done each week. I find that dividing up big tasks into smaller chunks that I can spread out across the week makes the process of being productive again more manageable, as suddenly being faced with a large amount of work all at once can feel overwhelming. Also, make sure to leave time to do things you enjoy, see friends and have time for yourself – having that balance is very important!

Starting with more interesting tasks

Others may have a different approach to this and may prefer to start with their least favourite tasks first. However, if I find I need a bit of boost to get me back into ‘study mode’, I find that starting with the topics that interest me the most can help give me that extra bit of motivation I need to help me push through with the rest of my work. 

Working with others 

Doing the same subject or course as friends? How about organising a study session together! Working with a group can be a great way of motivating and helping one another. Even if you’re not studying the same course, sometimes I find that just being around others who are being productive can help me to do the same!

Finding new study spaces 

Personally, I find that regularly changing my study environment is helpful when I need a motivation boost to get back into studying. I know other people have that one spot they always go back to, however I really enjoy seeking out new places to study (and in a way it adds a bit of excitement to the prospect of going to study!). So if you’re finding yourself easily feeling unproductive at your bedroom desk, maybe try heading to somewhere like the library or even a local café! At Surrey, some of my favourite study spaces include the Hive and the Nest!

The MySurrey Nest!

Dealing with first day nerves

Heading back after the summer break, whether it be school, college or university, can be nerve-wracking for both new and current students. This is completely normal and if you experience this you definitely are not alone! Some things I like to do before a first day is make sure everything I need is packed the night before and have a nice relaxed evening, with a meal and TV show I love. If I’m starting somewhere new, I like to know beforehand exactly where I’m going on my first day, so if I can I try to do a test-run of my journey there to alleviate some of the nerves on the day.

Having a restful summer! 

Probably the most important thing before starting back after summer is making sure to come back having had plenty of time to rest. The summer is a good time to do any prep that may be required for your course or to work part time to earn some money. However, it’s also important to give yourself enough time to relax and enjoy your free time so you’re feeling refreshed and ready for the new term! 

I hope you’ve found some of these tips useful, and best of luck for the start of the new academic year!