A summer vibes to school grind transition manual

The perfect how-to guide for getting back into the school grind

Image by: Aimee Look
It takes time to get back into the academic mindset. 

August truly is the Sunday of the summer. It’s filled with reminiscing on the good times with friends, summer nights, and lack of school commitments. Not only is it sad to see this all come to an end, but it’s difficult going from such a relaxed state of mind to jumping headfirst into the university grind.

Here’s the perfect how-to guide for going from summer fun to a successful study mindset.


The best advice I can offer to soothe this transition is to compromise. No one can go from tanning on the beach every day to sitting down and studying for a finance exam without struggle.

Compromise is the best way to get the best of both worlds. So, give yourself something enjoyable while doing the work. Work outside while the weather is still nice. That way, you get your dose of summer heat while still getting some work done.

Or, walk along the water and you’ll find some benches in the sun where you can set up your work while still getting an awesome tan.

Reward yourself for working

“Work hard, play hard” is truly the best advice I can give.  University isn’t all about the schoolwork—it’s about the connections and interests you find along the way.

I know it can be tempting to ditch that huge paper you have to write so you can go out with your friends, but don’t that. Instead, I propose a system that will ensure you can do both.

Let me introduce you to the Pomodoro Technique: you work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. Repeat that 4 times and you’ll be surprised at how much work you get done.

After getting your work done and having that awesome feeling of accomplishment, do something you enjoy. Watch an episode of your favourite show, go to the pier with your friends, play spike ball on Tindall—whatever your heart desires!

Buckle down in the first week

It’s super easy to fall behind in the first week of school. Social events are at an all-time high, and pretty much any street you walk down has about 10 parties going on. This is great in terms of meeting people and making connections, but not so much when it comes to schoolwork.

Falling behind in the first week seems like no big deal. You may even say to yourself, “I’ll just
catch up during reading week,” right? Wrong. You’ll go home for reading week and it’ll feel like a vacation. The last thing you’re going to want to do is schoolwork.

Then that first reading you missed—and told yourself you’d catch up on—will turn into a second, third, and fourth, and in no time, it’ll be exam time and you’ll have half a textbook to read. Trust me, that’s not a fun game to play.

My humble advice: buckle down in the first week. If you commit early on, that commitment will turn into a habit, and you’ll get into the groove of what you need to get done every week. Before you know it, reading six chapters a week will be a breeze.

While the summer feels amazing, Queen’s comes alive in September. Don’t confine yourself to strictly academics. Enjoy the time you have at Queen’s, but make sure you’re responsible, too. 

As I said, work hard, play hard.


Study, summer

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