Sweet Summertime!

by Julie Motchok on May 11, 2015

welcome back


Everything in your bedroom is just as you left it. Same old bedspread, paint on the walls and photos of high school friends who you keep meaning to text. Moving back home for the summer may be exciting for some people who see it as a chance to reconnect with family and/or friends. For others, moving back into the house where they grew up can be a stressful experience. If you are one of the students who are not exactly looking forward to a summer at home, here are some tips to help you through:

  1. Negotiate conflicts early- The expectations your parents have of what the summer will look like may not match yours. There could be tension and it is important that it is addressed early.
  2. Avoid “trashing” your parents’ space by leaving your personal belongings around the house.
  3. When you get upset with a parent, let them know why and communicate You might say: “When you do that, I feel as if I’m 15-years-old again.” Or, you might say: “When you say that you make me feel as if you are judging me.
  4. Be flexible- your parents are adjusting too. Give them the same breaks that you hope they would give you.
  5. Be responsible for the cleanliness of your own space…and for doing your own laundry.
  6. Be considerate: Call if you are going to be late for dinner, later than anticipated, or to let them know you will not be home at all. Once a parent, always a parent: They will never stop worrying about you.
  7. Focus on the positive! Look for the good parts about being home- good food? Friends nearby? Try to focus on these things and you will be a lot happier for the summer!

Summertime can be a great chance for you to catch up with high school friends who you haven’t seen in a while!   If you choose to drink alcohol it is important to BE SMART. Here are some strategies you can use to manage your intake:

  • Practice saying “no” to a drink. Come up with a reason why you need to stop like saying “my ride home is going to be here soon” or “I’m going to wait a few minutes before my next one.”
  • Shake up your habits and choose a beverage that isn’t your favorite. This way, you are likely to drink it slower and reduce the effects of alcohol.
  • Know your cues! Know what triggers you to consume more. For example, if you have a low tolerance for one drink over another. Or if you go to a specific bar to drink, try to avoid going there for dinner.
  • Alternate and/or dilute your drinks. Add more water to an alcohol drink or order “virgin” drinks that contain no alcohol like a pina colada or daiquiri. After drinking an alcoholic beverage, follow it up with a water or soda.


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Oh yes, you can. Sure, it’s a busy week… final papers, projects, and exams — oh my! However, there is no need to get overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done. In fact, getting overwhelmed will only make matters worse. Click the “delete” key on the phrase I can’t. Take a deep breath. By prioritizing and scheduling your time, the week will be over before you know it and all of your remaining assignments will be done – and done well!

Follow these tips to create your own Master List for Finals Week:

  • Step 1: Take a look at all of your syllabi. Write down all remaining projects, papers, and exam.


  • Step 2: List each final paper, project, and exam by the dates that they are due (earliest due date to latest).


  • Step 3: Note what action steps you need to take in order to complete each of these assignments.

For example, if I need to hand in a final research paper by Friday, I will break down this daunting task into the following manageable steps: (1) format Reference section to APA guidelines, (2) Proof and edit, (3) Review instructions to make sure I included everything I need.

Another example is if I have a final exam next Monday, and I still need to study. This seems overwhelming when I think about it, until I break it up into these steps: (1) Reread chapters 4-7, (2) Reread chapters 7-10, (3) Review class notes.


  • Step 4: Schedule realistic time brackets for which day(s) you will work on these action steps.

For example, if my research paper is due on Friday, I will schedule to format the reference section on Monday night from 5-6PM, proof and edit it on Tuesday from 2-3PM, and then reread it for errors on Wednesday from 3-4PM.

For the final exam, I will schedule to reread chapters 4-7 on Tuesday afternoon from 11am-1pm, read chapters 4-10 on Thursday from 9-11AM, and then to review class notes on Saturday from 11am-1pm and Sunday from 6pm-8pm. Do this for each assignment.


  • Step 5: Put it in your planner so that you know exactly what to do each day. Then, do it! Look at that – you just made a study schedule and to-do list for finals week.


  • Step 6: Add in scheduled time for self-care. This includes exercise, sleep, meal breaks, and time for fun. Find 2-3 afternoons that you can fit in a walk, run, or other form of exercise. Make sure you block off when you need to be in bed each night. Block out meal times to make sure that you are nourishing yourself (chowing down a meal bar while sitting at the computer in the library doesn’t count). Block out time for hanging with friends, or something else that gives your mind a break from school work.

For example, I will block off breakfast each day from 7-7:30AM, lunch from 12:30-1PM, and dinner from 6:30-7PM. I will also schedule a run on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8-9AM. I will go to bed with the lights out and my phone away by 11PM every night. I will, also, set aside time for my favorite TV show on Friday night from 9-10PM, and time with my friends on Saturday night from 5-10PM.


That feels better, doesn’t it? Suddenly the idea of completing all of those highlighted assignments scattered amongst five syllabi just became much more manageable. See what we’re getting at here? When you think ahead, prioritize, and schedule, then you are able to use your time more efficiently and put less stress on yourself. This even allows you to have plenty of time for self-care, which is equally important in times of high stress.

We know you’ll do great this week! Go get ‘em, Bear!


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