New School Year, New You

Who would have ever thought that your first semester of college would be from behind a screen? Or 6 feet away from your classmates while wearing masks? No matter how unpredictable life can be, it’s safe to assume that nobody planned to attend school under such weird circumstances.

If you’re like me, the words “unprecedented times” have begun to trigger a fight or flight response. I don’t want to see another email “extending our deepest apologies.” I don’t want your shallow sympathy or aimless plans. I want solutions and structure. These aren’t just “unprecedented times”– these are terrifying, uncertain, anxiety-inducing, instructionless, and exceedingly lonely times.

Whether this is your first time moving away from home, first day at a new job, the first day after transferring schools, or just your first day of junior year, I first want you to know: yes, things are weird, but we’ll navigate this together.

Per the famous Beatles lyrics: “We all need a little help from our friends.” Here are some tips from your friends here at Gesture.

Save money on books you’ll never read again

Here is a free online library where you can access millions of PDFs of books! If I could go back in time, I probably could have saved hundreds of dollars with this ocean of a resource.

Mask up pain-free and acne-free

If you’re on campus, you’re probably going to have to endure long periods of time wearing a mask. Check out these links for some helpful mask tips to prevent ear pain and mask irritation.

Don’t procrastinate… irresponsibly

Most people would say that putting off your work is a bad idea. However, if you are someone who truly thrives under pressure, this may cause you to feel guilty or harsh on yourself. Procrastination can actually be an effective method for producing your best work, but only when done responsibly.
There is a difference between planning a specific procrastination period with mental deadlines, and simply putting off the project until you think you’ll get around to it eventually. (And of course, if procrastination is not an effective method for you, then spread your work across several days.)

Social media restriction

The harsh truth is… those app restriction timers don’t really work. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pushed ‘Ignore for the day’ instead of getting off the app. Set periods of time in which you delete the app in question off your phone to more effectively lessen your screen time.

Get acquainted with Gesture

Whether you’re 3000 miles away from your family for the first time, or remote learning while your best friends moved on campus, Gesture makes it so easy to stay connected.

Find ways to keep yourself sane

Block out periods of time to do things you genuinely like. Absolutely do not put off your interests because of school. Whether that’s drawing, working out, baking banana bread, or learning a language, let your spirit thrive in the midst of stress and academia. You could even Facetime your best friend and spend this time doing your favorite activities together. Don’t forget to incorporate a couple of walks every day, especially if you’re at home and not on campus.

You’ve got this. This school year may not be what you envisioned, but you have the power and agency to make it better than what you thought.

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