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Back to School

back to school, queen's arts and science online courses

All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.

—L.M. Montgomery

 

Getting in the mindset to go back to school is not easy. Summer has a way of infiltrating your thoughts and attitudes. Everything is more relaxed in the summer, time goes by more slowly, and your focus ends up slipping from academia. This is a good thing; you need a break every now and then to reset. If you took summer term courses, your break may have been actually quite short. So how do you make the transition from out of school to in school?

I don’t have a real answer for you. I’ve been out of school and working for just over a year, and I need to head back in a few weeks to a new school, new province, new degree. After what was essentially a 14-month long summer, I need to get back into the routine of taking classes, doing readings, and meeting assignment deadlines. So I bought some new stationary and cleared up space on my computer. But I don’t feel ready, and I don’t think anyone does when they start a new semester. It’s hard to feel ready when there are so many unknowns.

Accepting that you don’t know how the semester is going to play out is a big step. You don’t know what your classmates and professors are going to be like, you can’t predict the workload, and you can’t know what unforeseen circumstances might come up that impede your learning. What you can do is get excited, because it might be that you take the most amazing course you’ve ever taken next semester, or you meet the professor that is going to support you and help you figure out your next steps. You might come across a classmate that becomes a long-term study partner or peer editor.

Unknowns often turn out to be good things. You can feel ready to leave summer behind if you remember that.