So the holidays are over, and we’re back for another term. How can you wrench yourself out of the holiday mindset and get back to school routine?

Here are some of our ideas to try out, based on our own experiences at school and university. Everybody has different circumstances, of course, so you might like to adapt the tips below to best suit your needs.


Take care of your sleep pattern

The first step comes even before the very first period back at school. Through the holidays, many students have a vastly different sleep schedule to what they typically have throughout the school term (hello, late-night scrolling!). That’s all well and good when you have the time, but school days typically come with pretty early starts - a lot earlier than a lot of us would like!

"The first step comes even before the very first period back at school."

What that means is that you’ll be giving yourself a really tough job if you go straight from a holiday sleep schedule to school sleep schedule with no transition period.

At least a few days or so before school goes back for the new term, you might like to try adjusting your sleep schedule to be more in line with the typical school day. Anecdotally, this can help on day one of the new term, where the early start isn’t as much of a shock to the system. If you spend the entire first week simply trying to get through the days without falling asleep, you’ll already be playing catch-up!


Start small, but start early

Let’s be honest: nobody wants to get home the first day of the new term and launch into three hours of intensive study. You might not even know where to start for a little while as you ease your way back into new content, teachers, and class expectations.

But starting your routine early can have positive effects down the line; if you can build study habits early in the term, you won’t need to expend energy later on trying to get your ducks in a row. Set some goals, and set up a system for note-taking if you haven’t already.

"But starting your routine early can have positive effects down the line..."

Start small. You might spend the first few days working out your study routine or schedule, getting familiar with your new classes, and checking off any initial homework tasks. At least at the beginning of the year, it’s unlikely you’ll have any major assessments in the first couple of weeks, presenting an excellent opportunity to prepare for what’s to come. If you’re not sure where to start, consult some free notes and free videos to see what might help.


Try to be kind to yourself

The transition back to school isn’t easy for a lot of students, particularly after a lengthy break from regular classes. Try to be kind to yourself, and don’t expect everything to click all at once. The year is a long time, and you don’t need to have everything 100% worked out by January or February.

Getting study routines in place early on can be helpful, but also remember that it’s really important to not go too hard, too early. Take regular breaks and look after yourself. School - even Year 12 - isn’t just about study and marks, after all.

Best of luck for the new term, and get involved with our discussions section to chat with other students!