Welcome Back: Things to Help You Start Winter Semester

Quad in the Winter

Quad in the Winter

It’s the first month of classes, all over again.

The first month of Winter term can be particularly difficult, maybe because it doesn’t come with all the fanfare that the first month of Fall term does. There aren’t any back to school sales in stores, for one. And people stop giving first year students advice on making it through the inevitable first term. However, there’s also the inevitable second term, and not just ever, but that second term you’ll have to crawl your way back to after Christmas every year of your degree.

In Edmonton, this also means having to (continue) facing the onslaught of Winter – without Christmas to look forward to. It’s also flu season, so there’s the potential for not feeling great during classes, and maybe having to come back to university after spending the holidays at home. Over all, January is tough.

This month is the month of final exams in high school. In university, this is the month of starting fresh, getting into some new classes and meeting new people. Rather than letting the dredge of winter settle in your bones and make you long for the sing-songy joys of the holidays, take in these tips and snippets of advice:

  1. It Really is the First Month Again: and that’s totally okay. There is no reason for the first day of Winter term to feel like the continuation of the long haul that Fall term began. Try treating January as the fresh start it is, and as an opportunity to learn some new things. While students can think of the year as “school year” instead of “calender year,” the start of winter term is also a fresh start to a brand new year. Maybe you’re making new years resolutions about eating better, or sleeping more. Your resolution can add to your resolve (hehe) to make the term go by smoothly and cheerfully.
  2. It’s Cold and It’s Sick Out There: Like I mentioned above, it’s flu season. First, think about getting a flu shot. Second, make sure you wash your hands and dress warmly. There’s a lot of stress associated with the start of Winter term so if you’re already starting to feel weary make sure you digest some delicious soup and drink warm fluids. Also, get lots of rest and keep yourself moving. In the dead of winter, it gets tempting to stay in bed all day and not attend class because it’s so darn cold. When your energy levels start to drop, start paying attention to how much you’re sleeping every night and make some time for your physical activity of choice.
  3. Welcome Yourself Back: New classes, the opportunity for new friends and to spend new time with old friends, and the approaching springtime… You’re halfway through the year, and while it might seem hard to drag yourself to class after the warmth of the holidays, remember that spring is just around the corner… you won’t see it coming! Pay attention to the time you have now, stay on top of your schedule just like last term, and welcome yourself back to the university bubble. Just reminding yourself that it’s, literally, good to be back in class is a good way to boost your own levels of cheer post-holidays.
  4. There’s a Little Bit of Fanfare: Two words: Reading Week. Winter term starting means the approach of summer, spring, and even more immediately, a week off to “catch up on reading.” Wink. I like to sleep my Reading Week away (in between assignments, of course). Also in the Winter term are events like Antifreeze and a new schedule of fun activities through Recreation Services!