Carlee: Keeping Your Zen Through the Start of a New Semester

Jumping back in to a fast-paced, packed schedule after a relaxing four-week winter break is not exactly the easiest adjustment. We are so lucky that BU gives us a generous amount of time to recharge and do as we please; however, the lengthy break does make us miss our precious free time even more as we bid that freedom farewell and begin to face long syllabi, immediate assigned readings and projects, club meetings, and long to-do lists.

The start of a new semester is loads of fun, of course; you get to reunite with your friends and hear all about their adventures over break (or abroad, if they’re returning), and you get to say hello again to the place that pushes you to be the best, most hardworking version of yourself: COM! But, mixing the fun parts and the not-so-fun parts of the start of a new semester can lead to stress and feeling overwhelmed; you have to allow your body and mind to adjust to being in “work mode” again.

To destress, keep or find your Zen, and live your best life this semester, try practicing some of the following little tips!

Make time for yourself

See what it’s like to be a morning person for a day or two; sometimes the quiet hours of the morning can bring you the most positive thoughts, inspiration, and peace. Another thing you can try is simply taking a walk outside, and no, I don’t mean down Commonwealth Avenue. Travel off the beaten path; visit the Esplanade, the Boston Common, or the Public Garden. Try to be present in the moment as you walk, admire the little things around you, and kiss the Earth with your feet as you walk (as some wise man once said). It’s fun and rewarding!

Practice self-care

Try your best to maintain a healthy sleep schedule, and stay fit! (Something that I am seriously trying to work on this semester). Try journaling!  Figure out what works best for you to nurture your body and soul.

Stay organized

Ah, the key to eliminating stress through the semester. Take note of your due dates listed on your syllabi and update your planner regularly. Keep your living space clean and tidy, too! Have you seen the new Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo? She is a queen.

Call home

Practice gratitude and tell your family how much you appreciate their love and support. Hearing from you once in a while will make them feel good, too!

Step away from clubs/activities that mess with your headspace

This one is so important in college. Take note on how each of your activities makes you feel and how you think about them. Do you dread going to the meetings or do you find that it’s something that you look forward to? Do you enjoy spending time with everyone else involved in the organization?

Have fun

You’re only in college once; enjoy every moment and live it up. J

Yes, a lot of these are common sense, but in the mix-up of our very busy lives, we often forget about little things that could better our wellbeing.  Following these practices has helped me in the past, and I truly believe that they could benefit any student in one way or another. About 80% of college students will agree to feeling stressed in their day-to-day lives, so try putting yourself first this semester- you deserve it!


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