When you’re in optometry school, breaks are an amazing and much-needed time to wind down, catch up on sleep, and spend time with family. However, coming back from a break can be challenging: you already know that you’ll be facing another intense semester and that you’ll have to cut into those favorite activities that you just started to enjoy during your time off. If that time for getting ready to come back to school is now, here are a few tips to get you back into the swing of things:
Start off right. If you’re coming back from break, it is tempting to stay in vacation mode just a little bit longer. Don’t do this! Optometry school tends to be fast-paced and busy, so it won’t take you long to fall behind. Instead, tackle the tiny bit of work you have in the beginning to make your life easier as you get into the full swing of the semester (and you’ll still have time to socialize!).
Aim for a healthy routine. We all know that self-care is essential during optometry school and a new semester gives you the chance to build some healthy eating, sleeping and exercising habits. As you start back, remember that school is challenging and that you may not be able to keep those habits all semester…but that’s okay! Eight weeks of exercising and eating right out of a fifteen-week semester is still better than zero.
Enjoy the fresh start. If you happen to be coming back after winter break, you probably have New Year’s resolutions that you can put into effect. However, even if you’re coming back from a summer break, you can still use the energy of the new semester to do better both with your personal and your optometry school goals.
Stay in touch. Unless you happen to be attending an optometry school in your home city, you’re probably studying away from home. Missing home can be tougher after you’ve just left, so try to make a goal of keeping in touch. This might mean setting up a weekly phone call with family members or a texting chain with friends. Help and support from loved ones will always serve as an invaluable resource during a grueling semester.
Break doesn’t have to mean break. It’s good to step back from the rigor of optometry school, but it doesn’t mean that you have to avoid all things optometry. Spend a few times a week looking over notes for board exams or reviewing material for upcoming clinic skills. This will help keep things fresh and will make it easier to pick up where you left off when you return.
Going through optometry school isn’t easy and coming back to it after break is tough. But, keeping a few of these tips and your end-goal in mind will help you get through your next semester. Best of luck!