Getting Back Into School Rituals


Productive habits and rituals can set the tone for the coming semester. (Courtesy of Instagram)

Getting back into the groove of school is tough. For many students, the first week of school brings a lot of stress and anxiety. It is often overwhelming — meeting new professors, getting situated in new classes and being bombarded with all of the upcoming assignments for the semester. Students have to find ways to cope with the stress a new semester brings. Here are a few things students around campus are doing to help.

It’s important to take the first weeks of school to set the tone for the semester by getting organized. Noe Kreider, FCRH ’25, says, “At the beginning of every semester, I put my new schedule into my calendar. That way I can keep track of my new class times.” 

Like Kreider, Evan Trout, GSB ’25, says, “I’m writing down all of my upcoming assignments and test dates on my calendar.” This allows them to visualize the upcoming semester and stay on top of their work. 

Likewise, I made a new spring 2023 Google Drive folder which includes a folder for each of my new classes. In these folders, I put any course information the professor provides, including the syllabus and upcoming assignments. This allows me to have all of the important information I need for my classes in one place that I can easily access at all times. I also use a physical planner where I write down a to-do list everyday of all of the tasks and assignments I have to complete that day. Taking it one day at a time makes my work a lot more manageable and less overwhelming. One fun thing about starting a new semester is getting an excuse to buy a cute new planner to keep yourself motivated.

Something I value so much in overwhelming times such as this week is taking time for myself to relax. Whether that be by taking a bath, reading a book, listening to music or exploring the Botanical Gardens, there are so many different ways to take care of yourself. My personal favorite forms of self-care include meditation and working out. Meditation allows me to really center myself and take a deep breath to realize that everything will work out. Fordham offers Ignatian Yoga on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m., which is a perfect opportunity to take time for yourself to restore your body and mind. Working out is great too because it not only cares for your physical body, but your mental state as well. I am so much more productive when I set time aside for myself to go to the gym, even if I can’t complete all of my tasks. 

Moreover, creating a safe space for yourself is so important. My room is mine, and I love to decorate it so that I feel at peace and comfortable. Getting a nice sunset lamp or string lights makes all the difference and can really transform your room into a more tranquil environment. Lighting a candle at night makes everything better, too.

Katie Jones, GSB ’25, shares how she is spending the first weeks of school: “I’m spending a lot of time with my friends and trying to develop habits for the new semester. I try to set time aside for homework, going to the gym, cleaning… things like that.” One great thing about being back at school is getting to reunite with all of your friends you missed over break. Allowing yourself time to have fun and spend time with friends is so important. Even though you may feel overwhelmed by all of the assignments teachers mention during syllabus week, give yourself the time for enjoyment. 

All in all, you are not alone. The first weeks of school are a source of stress for most students. “It’s a little overwhelming to be back until I figure out my schedule and routine. Once I figure it out I’ll feel a lot better,” said Jones. Getting back into the groove after break is the most challenging part for many students. Trout described this time as “overwhelming and stressful,” too. Just remember to give yourself grace during this adjustment period.

Although these weeks are tough, they are also exciting. Try to put yourself out there and make new friends in class. You will find your workload a lot more manageable if you have a system to organize it. Remember to set aside time for yourself to relax and hang out with friends. Take this time to set the tone for your semester.