Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Prepare to Study

As great as winter break is, it can ruin a lot of your life: your diet, your sleep schedule, and, most of all, your motivation to be a student. I’m not talking about everything else that goes along with being a high school student, such as the endless socializing, but actually being the “student” part, which involves hunkering down and doing well in school.

I don’t claim to be the best student – I go to an art school after all – but there are steps that every student can take to get ready for classes, homework, and an endless array of tests and quizzes. Start thinking about these solutions now before that first exam rolls around, and you are still trying to break your routine of 12-hour Simpsons marathons.

Go Back to Acting Like a (Responsible) Student

For many students, winter break allows you the opportunity to kick back and forget that the crushing responsibilities of “adult life” are just a few short years away. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to completely be a bum up until the beginning of the semester.

It’s time to start waking up at a decent hour (anything before noon is a step forward), exercising, and pulling yourself out of whatever sloth-like state you have become. The earlier you start living and thinking like a student, the faster your habits will return (or start if you’ve been a sloth all of your high school experience).

Start a Study Group

You know that great show on NBC called Community? (Seeing as how the ratings are awful, chances are you don’t.) It’s great, and it centers on how a study group at a community college grows to be almost like a family in just a few episodes. They help each other as students and as friends, and the same could go for you, a non-television star.

I’m not saying that you should go out and find a new family among your peers, but it’s a great idea to find classmates that you trust to help you as a student once the new semester starts. They don’t even have to be in the same classes as you – as long as you have someone there to help keep you on track, you’ll be much more motivated to do well.

Jumpstart Your Brain

One of the hardest steps about returning from winter break (at least for me) is focusing. Your brain turns to mush over your few weeks off, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of little intelligence-challenging things you can do.

The easiest step to take is read a book. This uses your brain much more than television, and you’ll have to be doing a lot of reading during the school year. Logic puzzles, Sudoku, word searches – all of these are great uses of your brain even if it might not seem that way.

There’s no fool-proof way to be ready to take on studying for your first class (besides stealing the teacher’s tests), but if you just take a few of these suggestions as winter break ends, you’ll be readier than most.


Alexander Diedrick is a television writing and production student at Columbia College of Chicago. In addition to producing and writing for Price of Admission, a movie and television review show for college students, Alexander is a writing intern at myFootpath, LLC.

  • Great Article… It is never too late to pick up good study and organization habits while in school. Even at art and architecture schools, study groups are great. It’s just nice to have someone in studio with you to keep you on track and to take productive breaks together.

    Good Luck to all the students starting the new semester!