Back to School: Tips for Transition

Welcome back, fellow Tritons! We’ve spent the past month laughing at friends on the semester system, but alas, our time has now come. For those of us, second years and beyond, returning to La Jolla after being home for summer, even though it is not our first time doing this, can still be a time of transition, change, and anxiety around the start of a new year. Things may not be exactly as new as they were when you arrived for the first time, but you also may still feel that you haven’t found home in San Diego just yet. And that’s OK! As you take your time to move back in, on campus or off, here are some tips to settle in smoothly:

  1. Decorate your new space, and make it your own. Hang pictures of friends and family from both here and home. Put extra effort into making sure your home base for the year truly feels like somewhere you want to be. String lights around the room. Cover the walls in posters. When you’re getting your bed together, make sure you’ve brought all of the pillows. All of them. Get your shoes lined up exactly how you like them. Turn this space into somewhere that makes you feel welcome when you walk in.
  2. Seek out familiarity. Go to your favorite places here on campus or in San Diego. Find the coffee shop you love to study at, go back to Snooze an A.M. Eatery for breakfast, or hang out on the couches in The Hub. After leaving home, a place you most likely know like the back of your hand, and arriving in San Diego can feel overwhelming if you’re not familiar with it. Going back to the places you have gotten to know well will start to bring you back to your San Diego student state of mind.
  3. Call up friends. If you start to feel overwhelmed by the oncoming quarter, find the friends you’ve made right here in San Diego. If you feel comfortable, voice your worries or stresses out loud. Chances are, your friends are feeling the same way. Getting some time in with school pals can help you sink into your “normal” during the academic year. Go shop at Trader Joe’s or Ralphs, make a stop at Philz Coffee, and take a detour through Nordstrom Rack. Wherever it is that you an your squad like to go, get on the bus! There’s nothing that says “I feel like I never left” quite like hopping on a beloved local bus, scratchy seats and all.
  4. Take a beach day. San Diego can feel big and confusing, but UC San Diego will always be close to some of La Jolla’s best beaches. Go back to the you that told yourself you would go to the beach every day during college instead of the real you that dreams of warm sand while gazing out of a Geisel Library window. Lay out on your towel, take in the warm sun, and listen to the waves. Remember why you chose to move here. Once you realize how much more calm and comfortable you feel at the beach, promise yourself you’ll come back to the shores more often during the year.
  5. Remember that this is all temporary. Take in the anxiety and all of the feelings that come with returning to La Jolla. Notice that things might not feel brand new, but they also just might feel different. Know that you’ve stuck through it before and that in a week or two, you’ll be right back on track. Transitions are weird and stressful, but the great thing about them is that they don’t last forever. Take a deep breath, string those lights around your room, and get ready to own this quarter.