How to survive your first week back at school

Note — it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think


If you get into the mindset of eating breakfast during syllabus week, it’ll become a good habit throughout the semester. 

Isabel Salken | Cavalier Daily

Welcome back, Hoos! It’s that bittersweet moment of arriving back on Grounds, greeted by old friends and maybe the warm, familiar humidity that hits you when you start the trek from Gilmer to Wilson. Or maybe it’s all new to you, and you’re a little lost — like we all were our first week — and it takes some extra time to get yourself around. The only thing that can make these moments harder is being hungry. 

Here are some things you can do to limit hunger and have a successful syllabus week: 

1. Pack snacks

I think it’s about time people stop worrying about being embarrassed by carrying a lunch box. Most of the time, if you’re the one with the snacks, people are jealous. Especially at this time of year, when the weather is humid and hot, you’ll want to keep yourself hydrated and energized. If you need some inspiration, you can read about some of my favorite snacks in this article. You’ll certainly catch me with a Perfect Bar, GoMacro bar and Siggi’s yogurt with fruit in my bag at all times.

2. Eat breakfast 

The common mantra of “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is something to be taken seriously when it comes to college. If you get into the mindset of eating breakfast during syllabus week, it’ll become a good habit throughout the semester. You might be tempted to skip this when you accidentally forget to set your alarm or press snooze one too many times, but that is most definitely not the move. If you have a kitchen, maybe take the time to hard boil eggs the night before or prepare some overnight oats to take with you alongside some fruit or toast. If it’s your first year, make sure you plan in time to hit the dining hall in the morning, or at the very least, prepare this dorm-friendly oatmeal for yourself. 

3. Have groceries on hand

After a long day, it would be nice to have some quality food that can keep you comforted if you’re beginning to feel homesick. Trader Joe’s makes a convenient, frozen vegetable fried rice that makes for a great meal when mixed with extra veggies and a protein of choice. Or you could opt for one of these

4. Say yes to spontaneous plans with friends, but no to those that will add to your stress

There’s a fine line between forcing yourself to go out because it’s the first week and you feel like you should and just being plain tired. Know yourself and know the difference because it’s just the beginning of the semester, and there will be plenty of other times! Maybe instead, suggest meeting for dinner or lunch with friends. This allows you to simultaneously bond with others while catching up on a meal. I love grabbing a sandwich and/or smoothie at Corner Juice, especially if you’re opting for something light. Eating outdoors at Trin or grabbing a bagel from Bodo’s are all great and affordable options also available on the Corner. 

All in all, remember to approach everyday with a positive outlook, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s the start of a new year, with new opportunities around every corner. Try not to let the food get in your way, and certainly do your best to stop it from dictating your schedule. Be prepared and open-minded. You can make it a great year or not — the choice is yours!

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