Going back to school after a long break can be challenging. You may have forgotten much of what you learned before the break, or you might struggle with resuming your school routine. Returning to school mode can be easier with some steps to refresh your memory, boost your motivation, and establish your habits.  Getting back into the swing of things at school can be rough, but with these tips, that process can be much easier.

1. Build Motivation

Finding motivation for school can be difficult after being on an extended vacation, like for the summer or winter break. When you are accustomed to relaxing without being required to complete assignments, acquiring the energy to become fully dedicated to your tasks can be challenging. However, there are simple actions you can take to generate energy and motivation for work. For instance, you can clean your room, wash your clothes, or wash your car. Completing these simple tasks gives you the confidence to complete more extensive tasks, such as finishing a complex assignment or studying for a tough test.

You can also set goals with detailed, actionable steps and due dates. This can help prevent procrastination because the goals are broken into more manageable tasks, and you have a system to hold yourself accountable. Reward yourself for assignments completed by their deadlines to motivate yourself to continue. 

back to school

2. Adjust Your Sleep Schedule

An optimal sleeping schedule is vital to maintain the energy needed for school and work. Not having to wake up early for classes while on vacation is relaxing, but it can make it challenging to re-adjust when you need to get up in the morning again. IowaStudentLoan.org recommends setting your alarm and making it a habit to go to bed reasonably for at least three weeks before returning to school to ensure your body becomes accustomed to a sleep schedule. According to studenthealth.oregonstate.edu, if you are having trouble going to sleep, you can make it easier by doing a relaxing bedtime routine, such as listening to soothing music or reading a book. Also, avoid bright lights or stimulating activities like late-night exercise right before bed. 

In addition, you should stay away from stimulants like caffeine before going to bed. Do not consume chocolate, coffee, soda, or tea for at least eight hours before bed. Alcohol is another beverage to steer clear of since it will decrease the quality of your sleep, causing you to awaken more frequently in the middle of the night. Lastly, you should avoid nicotine since it can cause withdrawal symptoms while trying to sleep and bring about nightmares. So, if you are a smoker, avoid smoking for at least two hours before bed.

3. Stock Up on School Supplies

When returning to school, you must have all the necessary supplies. First, take inventory of what you already have and list what you need. To save money, check if your state offers sales tax holidays for school supplies by using a tool like taxadmin.org; these days, states require a reduction of sales taxes on certain items like school supplies. 

Preparing your supplies in advance will help you focus on your studies later. According to masonacademy.com, you can also improve your organizational skills by laying out your supplies and figuring out how to use them. Once you have your supplies in order and know their purpose, you will have a more straightforward path in your studies. Not only that, you will be more motivated to complete your work since you will not waste time trying to find the right tool for the job.

back to school

4. Refresh What You Learned

Taking a break from school can cause you to forget essential study lessons. This is typically known as the “summer slide,” affecting many students; as nwea.org states, “the average student lost 17–34% of the prior year’s learning gains during summer break.” To minimize learning loss during any break, you can review your previous classes’ notes before resuming school can refresh your memory. You can deepen your understanding by making a study guide or creating a quiz with a tool like purposegames.com. Studying in intervals also helps. For instance, you can dedicate at least one hour to review, aiming to study at the same time each day if possible. Your mind constantly stores new information in your short-term memory, so it would be best to review your notes consistently during your break. This will help commit the information to your long-term memory and make your transition back to school easier. 


Going back to school after a long break can be a rough transition. But you can increase your motivation to return to your studies by making goals for yourself, resuming an efficient schedule, preparing with the necessary supplies, and refreshing your memory of what you previously learned. If you need more help with getting ready to go back to school, WorldWise Tutoring can help! Our expert educators are amazing at helping to set up routines, organize workspaces, and review past lessons.

Written by Xavien Timoll