How not to get back into the groove

Illustration of a stressed student reading a textbook, a pile of books nearby
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With the semester beginning, you’re probably feeling pressure to put your nose back to the grindstone. Diving back into the heavy workload that UC Berkeley demands is a mainstay of the start of any semester. It can also be rather exhausting. To avoid burning out so early in the semester, as well as developing a more healthy relationship with your schoolwork, you should consider not getting back into the groove of being a student. Staying out of the groove should help you become more aware of how you spend your time during the day. This could also help you avoid mindlessly plowing through work until you are exhausted. Here are some of the ways to make sure you don’t accidentally slip into the groove.

Do something for yourself

Schoolwork can sometimes be all-consuming. To keep yourself from being sucked in, do something you’ll enjoy. Let your creative juices flow — draw a picture or write a story. It doesn’t have to be great (or any good, for that matter). The important thing is to do something that makes you feel a little accomplished outside of school. That way, your life won’t revolve around classes, and you won’t get sucked into the rut of schoolwork as readily.

Leave the computer when doing something fun

There is an additional challenge to not getting stuck in the groove of school during a pandemic: Classes are all online. That means all your classes, assignments and tests take place through your computer screen. So, if you want to have fun, using the computer to do it can feel as though you’re still stuck in school. Instead, step away from the screen and try something new. That way, you can leave the school space of the computer and actually feel as if you’re free.

Interact with people in nonacademic settings

This period of social distancing has probably caused most of your social life to just consist of class, which may allow for a little bit of socializing, but it’s not quite enough. To keep from entering the groove and having school take over your entire life, talk with friends and people outside of class or any academic environment, for that matter. Don’t even talk about school if you can help it. Let your socializing be a time you can completely forget about school, at least for a little while.

Schedule breaks from schoolwork

The best way to avoid burnout from being trapped in the groove is to give yourself a break. Let yourself out and give yourself time to relax. Continuously working will just burn you out and make you less efficient and effective than if you had just taken a break. It’s also a chance to make the most out of your time away from school.

So don’t let yourself get back into the groove. Enjoy being out of the groove of schoolwork for a little longer. Maybe it might just make this semester all the more enjoyable.

Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected] .