So, we’re delighted to see you, but we’re more than aware that you might have mixed feelings about coming back after the summer break or a study abroad year. To help ease the transition back to uni life, our Student Money Mentor Claire gives us her take on practical things to do to help settle back in and ways to lift your mood.
Uni has started again: time to set the alarms, dig out the notebooks and find where on earth you put your King’s ID. (Yes security is still tight so you are going to need it to get anywhere and everywhere around campus)
Post-holiday blues is a real thing, but there are ways to make your transition back to Uni a little bit smoother.
Here are some tips for when you go back.
Focus on the Good Times
The most common question you will be asked when you come back and see your friends again will be ‘How was your summer?’. Do not reply with ‘It was too short’, you are simply setting off on the wrong foot and focusing on the negative rather than the positive. Relive the fun times you had while you retell your tales of summer picnics, reunion dinners and much needed time in front of the TV. No one wants their first conversation to be centred on wishing for something they don’t have, so embrace the fact you had a break and crack out those holiday pictures on Instagram.
If you are super nice, bring a box of homemade cookies to share around – no doubt you will make someone’s day and spread some joy. You can never go wrong with cookies.
It may be painful to contemplate as you’ve barely stepped back onto campus, but scrolling through all those emails you’ve blissfully ignored over the summer will save your life. It is stressful starting a new year, but if you plan what you are doing and know what is going on, you can keep that stress to a minimum. I would invest in a diary or a planner to write everything down, or use the calendar on your phone to track when you have seminars or lectures. That way you won’t be panicking at midnight the day before, trying to find a friend who is still awake and can tell you where you are supposed to be at 9am.
Humans are social creature (most of the time, maybe only once fuelled with coffee if morning aren’t your thing). Sure you went home for a few months, ate everything the fridge, enjoyed not having to do your own washing, and relaxed while your family pampered you, so give them a call every once in a while. It is very easy to get caught up in our own busy lives, but even if it is once a short chat every other month, your friends and family will appreciate hearing your voice. The easiest way to feel better if you have post-holiday blues is to be around people who don’t. Their happiness is contagious and is all you need to pick yourself up.
So yes going back to uni can be a drag, but ultimately you will love it. Like going back to anything you have left for a while, getting into the routine is the hardest part, but once you are in the swing of things, the good times will simply wash over you.
If you find that you’re struggling to make the transition back to uni, please don’t suffer in silence. Reach out to a friend, or your personal tutor. You might also find these professional services and peer-led initiatives useful:
- Peer Supporters
- King’s Wellbeing one-to-one coaching
- Mental Health Advisors same day appointments
- Counselling Service
- Nightline (020 7631 0101), an organisation run by student volunteers offering confidential telephone counselling between 6pm and 8am
- Your KCL Skills Hub provides a summary of support available in all aspects, from academic and study skills support to life skills