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A helpful guide on getting back into the grind: 

“How was your summer?” rings through the hallways and dining halls followed by brief responses except for the occasional more meaningful conversation with a close friend that turns into a longer catch-up…. 

1a) Don’t give the same, expected answers; inquire more into why their summer was good. 

1b) When you say you will catch-up over a meal, text a potential time right then. 

The summer days to the class grind is a transition, and in some ways we are eased into it: a few days of classes, Lawnparties, making sure precepts are in order, but it is easy to fall into a slump and slack, and the motivation to tackle work while visiting with friends you haven’t seen in a while can be hard. 

2) Find balance as we get back into the swing of things. 

A new academic year can bring an incentive for resolutions #newyearnewme

3) Let this start with your room. Is it situated? Where is your place of study, where is a place for a break and fun? 

Living on campus is convenient, but given day-to-day commitments and little time to do a lot, I have found that being able to work in almost any environment is necessary; however, it is said that working in the same environment can be beneficial — your mind can better click into gear when you are in a place where you always study. 

4a) Never doubt the power of a calendar. Paper? Google for creating appointments with others?

4b) Are you filling your day with what you want to do? Classes should be inspiring (well, as much as they can be — take the courses you want to take; the requirements will fall into place. 

Shopping classes these two weeks can be stressful, and while the stress rarely lets up, the work may feel easier if you are taking classes you actually enjoy. 

5) Explore! Don’t be afraid to change a class just because you fear being too far behind — that’s what these days are for, and you can catch-up. 

While I think a lot of us felt that summer break was needed, we are hitting September hard. 

Sometimes I find myself second-guessing every decision I make: should I join this group weary that it will take too much time? Will I regret not spending more time on this assignment? 

6a) Go forth with your eyes wide open, jump in head first, and trust that you can offer your own safety net in the riptide. Make mistakes to learn from them. 

6b) “No one ever built character during the easy times.” A professor at Mpala, a University ranch and research Center in Kenya comforted me with these words a few months back after I found the work challenging. Ignorantly, I wanted to prove this statement false, but I think I am realizing how true these words are. When all is well and good, when times are easy, what are you learning about yourself? Success feels good but is often more rewarding after many trials and then a breakthrough. 

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