The great comeback: Tips for returning to campus
Brooke Kulusich is a final-year PharmD candidate at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and the 2021–22 APhA–ASP Speaker of the House.
As schools and colleges of pharmacy prepare for a long-awaited return to campus this fall, this back-to-school season is met with a renewed sense of excitement. After over a year of work-from-home life, in-person learning might feel like a distant memory and the concept might bring feelings of stress and trepidation.
Here are my tips to help you prepare for your great return.
Establish your new routine
It is safe to say that, when the pandemic hit, your daily schedules were completely overhauled. Morning commutes to campus were replaced by the walk from bed to computer, lunch breaks by Zoom meetings, and live lectures by video recordings. In your first month back on campus, strive to establish consistent morning and evening routines to set each day up for success. Minimize decision-making in the morning by planning your outfit and packing your lunch the night before. Leave yourself enough time to travel to campus, as traffic patterns might have shifted since before the pandemic.
With a fresh start on campus, now is the time to forge new relationships, foster friendships, and regain a sense of community with your peers. Take advantage of all opportunities for chapter networking and social events to reconnect with familiar faces and welcome new student pharmacists into your circle. When you feel personally connected, you will feel more motivated and productive.
Being back on campus can make it tempting to fall back into bad habits, like staying up late to cram for an exam or being chained to your desk all day. Remember to give yourself a mental break now and then by carving out time for a walk, journaling, meditating, or whatever it is that re-energizes you.
If the return to campus evokes mixed emotions, you are not alone. Take a moment to show yourself grace for persevering through an unprecedented pandemic and gratitude that the return to normalcy is on its way!