It’s that time of the year, and I know how you feel. You are at war with yourself, as one part of you wants to go back to school and the other part wishes you could stay home and relax.

At least, that’s how I feel.

In the month that you’re on winter break, your whole schedule shifts. You sleep in. You wake up and read fiction or binge-watch Netflix. You shower in the afternoon. You laze around just because you can. You eat an actual dinner at actual dinner time. You go to bed whenever you want to.

But going back to school requires a whole change in thinking. If you have morning classes, you can’t sleep in. There’s no more reading for fun or binge-watching your favorite show; not without repercussions. Your bathroom routine has to be planned. Lazing around is for those willing to risk it. You eat cereal at 9:00 at night. Sleep is for the weak, and no matter how much you get, you’re still deprived when you wake up.

It’s a semester-long battle that we have to mentally prepare ourselves for. We took a break in a time of war and got comfortable, but now we’re approaching the battlefield.

So, how do you prepare?

You can start off by making sure you have a back-to-school checklist. Refuel on whatever weapons—I mean supplies—you need. Be sure to buy some MREs—food that don’t take too long to fix.

Arm yourself with the right textbooks ahead of time. Find the PDF versions, first. Look everywhere else BEFORE you buy the overpriced book in your college bookstore.

Know when your sergeant—professor—is having class and in what building. You want to have all of that worked out beforehand so that you also know when your leisure time is.

Remember why you’re fighting. Whether it’s your freshman, sophomore, junior or senior year of college, you defeated first semester. You’re there for a reason, you survived for a reason, and now you have to keep the momentum going. Don’t lose morale.

Which brings us to our last point: walk into battle with the mindset to win the war. You have all of the tools you need. You have the power to defeat giants. Stop making excuses and just do it.


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