While I thoroughly enjoyed my first semester of college, I was feeling some apprehension as winter break came to a close, and I didn't know why I was dreading the start of the spring semester. I was excited to see my friends, liked my schedule, and seemingly had a lot to look forward to in the coming months. But once I arrived back at school and settled in, it was easier to transition than I thought. Looking back on the first week and a half of my second semester, there are a few things I consciously made an effort to do that made adjusting back from my home life easier.

I am a big over-packer, so putting away all the unnecessary things I brought home over break when I got back to my dorm was no easy task. But once I had those few hours to organize my space and tidy up, my dorm feels so much more serene. As an art major, I don't even do that much work in my dorm, but it's important to have a clean space where you can be productive.

Another tip is not to dwell on the bad. Everyone knows that holding grudges negatively impacts your relationship with others, so stop keeping grudges against yourself! For me, it would be a day I don't have time to work out or a not so positive critique in one of my classes. Holding on to these negative things is the worse way to handle stress. Instead, it's important to remember the positives: good relationships, day to day successes, and even little things that make you happy. By doing this, you're more likely to resolve the negative problems in your life. Self-reflection is also directly tied to creativity which is important for me in my major.

It's important to set big goals for yourself but focus on the small steps needed to achieve them. I've written about my fitness and healthy lifestyle goals before, which are definitely a big one as far as changes I want to make to habits here at Rutgers. I also changed my mind about what I am studying this semester. I always knew I wanted to concentrate in painting, but recently I've been interested in double majoring in design as well and minoring in communications. This is a big task and a heavy course load, but breaking it down into a semester by semester plan has made it less stressful. It's definitely important to remember that focusing on small things you can do to improve your lifestyle and achieve greater will make your goals more attainable.

Most importantly, being back here with my friends made me remember that it's not too hard to get back into the swing of life at school and coping with the stresses that classes can bring.