It feels like a decade has passed since we last attended in-person classes, and the thought of entering a lecture hall with hundreds of people or rushing across campus to get to classes on time is feeling a little overwhelming. Bwog is here with some advice to help you have the smoothest transition possible!

Remember that it’s okay to be overwhelmed and feel like everything is new and unfamiliar.

Whether you’re a first-year student or a senior, the past few semesters have looked very different from the one we’re beginning today. Coming back from a pandemic isn’t something most of us have dealt with before, and a lot of the things we’re going to be experiencing over the course of the semester might feel unfamiliar to a lot of people. Those feelings are valid and understandable, and it’s okay to be overwhelmed!

Take some time to map out the most efficient route to get from one class to another.

Walking from one side of campus to the other in a 15-minute time crunch is pretty different from clicking out of one Zoom call and into another. To avoid the stress of getting lost or being late for class, take some time to map out the fastest route between your classes at the beginning of the semester. Make sure you know where each building is and how to get to the correct classroom, too. Sometimes stairs, elevators, or classrooms can be tricky to find, so there’s no harm in getting there a little early to find your way!

Plan ahead when and where you’re going to eat in the middle of your day.

In the rush between classes and the stress of a new semester, it can be easy to forget meals. If your class schedule goes right through lunchtime, plan ahead to know where you can grab food quickly and when you’ll have some time to eat. Bringing snacks from home can also be a great option if there’s no time for dining halls and long lines. Staying fueled throughout the day is so important!

Make sure you have a mask that you can talk in and is comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Though masks are generally not required outdoors for vaccinated individuals, you’re most likely going to spend all of your time in classes with a mask on. That’s why it’s essential to make sure you have a mask that you’re comfortable wearing for extended periods of time. Some masks also make it difficult to talk, including falling down when you move your mouth or sucking in when you try to breathe. Look for masks that don’t feel too restrictive, so you can be comfortable indoors.

Plan some time for rest each day.

Going back to in-person school can be incredibly exhausting for a lot of people, and it might take some time to mentally and physically adjust to a lifestyle that’s so different from attending online classes for the past three semesters. Scheduling out time for rest and self-care after classes can help make sure that you’re not getting too caught up in the stress of the day and burning out too quickly.

Develop a morning and night routine that works for you!

Having a concrete morning routine is crucial for you to set aside space to mentally and physically prepare for classes and work. Similarly, it’s also important to have a night routine that lets your body know when it’s time to wind down and push your daily stressors away for the night. Shop around on lifestyle vlogger youtube and pick and choose what parts of different routines you want to try that might work for your schedule. Remember that everyone is different, and give yourself space to experiment with different combinations.

Don’t be afraid to break your semester-long to-do list down into smaller parts.

Staring down a list of everything you have to accomplish this semester (or even week) can be extremely daunting and stressful. Cutting to-do lists down into what you need to accomplish for a single class or a morning of work at Butler can make your workload seem more manageable and allow you to be productive without psyching yourself out before you even begin.

Spend time really trying out different libraries and study spaces during the first weeks of class.

During the first few weeks of school, your course load will (hopefully) be a little lighter than usual. This means it’s the perfect time to experiment with what homework and study style will be right for you. Try going to different libraries, classrooms, and study spaces when you still have time to really tune in to your body and see if you work best on a silent top floor or in a busy cafe!

Reward yourself when you accomplish goals, even small ones.

Sometimes school can seem like an endless process of starting and completing meaningless assignments. Interrupt your status quo by rewarding yourself for finishing your midterms or even getting through a dreadfully long reading. Little things like getting an extra cookie at the dining hall or getting a new pair of shoes can keep you motivated when the Sunday Scaries fight back.

Don’t let one bad grade distract or discourage you.

It can be so easy to let one bad grade completely change your mindset about a class, subject, or school as a whole. Remember that everyone has setbacks, and one grade is not an indication of your overall ability or success. Be kind to yourself and keep moving forward.

How I feel going back to school after 3 semesters of Zoom University via the Bwarchives