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Fictional advice for getting your mind back at school

Despite all of my efforts, the calendar turned to January and I grudgingly came back for yet another semester of school. Kraft Dinner, freezing cold walks to class, and silent floors of the library have replaced memories of expensive dinners, warm fires, and Christmas music.

If you’re anything like me, you’re struggling to get back into school mode after a break that was delightful, but ultimately too short. Rather than continue to bemoan our fates while looking longingly at New Year’s photos or eating sadness away with popcorn, I’ve decided to make use of time spent in front of the television to provide some words of wisdom from some fictional friends.

“The night is always darkest before dawn.” — Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight (pre-villainy)

I know things seem rough right now, but before you know it reading week will be upon us, and after that the spring, and finally, sooner than you think, sunlight after 6 p.m. will become a regular part of your life. We all know January and February suck, but it could be worse—you could wake up in some sort of sick dream and find yourself back in November.

“We’ve had one breakfast, yes, but what about second breakfast?” — Peregrin Took in The Fellowship of the Ring

It’s amazing what a good meal or a good sleep can do for your happiness and stress levels. According to the Cognitive Effects of Breakfast study, quoted in the Daily Mail, breakfast “reduces stress and improves people’s mental and physical performance throughout the day.” Rather than setting your alarm for 15 minutes before class, give yourself time in the morning and luxuriate in the sunshine, coffee, and eggs. It’ll make the day seem much more conquerable.

“Baxter, you know I don’t speak Spanish.” —Ron Burgundy in Anchorman

Don’t just stick to what you’re good at. University offers you the chance to go outside your comfort zone and try new things. Use your electives to learn a new language, or join a club on campus and try something you always thought was cool, but beyond your reach—swing dancing is a great example. Keep the struggles of university in perspective. Beyond offering you a formal education, it can also be a great place to reinvent yourself.

“Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…”
—John McClane in Die Hard

University can be a hell of a good time. In what other place will you find so many like-minded people with equally deficient bank accounts? You’ll most likely be stuck working for the rest of your life, so enjoy the breaks and freedom that the university semester offers. It’s easy to dwell on the bad, but remember to take advantage of the incredible opportunities our university and its surrounding community offers for a good time.

“Happiness is only real when shared.” — Alexander Supertramp in Into the Wild

Friends are not only great for your legendary nights out, but are also essential for getting through those tough times. If you’re feeling lonely or down let someone know. I promise you’ll find out you’re not alone and that sometimes the best medicine can be kicking back with a friend and letting loose.