As another summer comes to an end, social media is flooding with students sharing their excitement about their adventures back to JMU’s campus. Final days of summer allow students to begin the transition from the carefree summer to a busy and booked school year. Not only do assignments start to pile up quickly after school starts, but stress and unhealthy habits do too.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when one is doing, wearing and eating the same thing weekly. Most students have a routine they stick to every day, whether or not they mean to. This includes going to the library at a certain time, eating lunch with the same group of friends at D-Hall every Wednesday and going to Backcountry on Thursday nights. This rut can be formed early on and last until students go home for Thanksgiving break. It can be avoided if students make some changes to their daily lives at the beginning of the semester.  

Prior to moving back to campus, students should look into getting a haircut or buying some new articles of clothing. If students have worn the same items every year of college, these new clothes will show a more modern and updated version of their style. Therefore, students will have an opportunity to express how they feel and how they want to present themselves. A new wardrobe can also give students a lot more confidence. Confidence is key when beginning a new school year. Feeling good about oneself will inspire students to be the absolute best version of themselves. However, college students are also on a budget and getting a new wardrobe is pricey. Students don’t need to replace every old item of clothing to feel different. A new pair of shoes or a good pair of jeans can bring a lot more confidence than one would expect. 

A problem some upperclassmen face is returning to the same room from the previous year. If a student didn’t change apartments during the summer, they may not have the excitement that comes with a new place. However, students who stay in the same living situation are lucky. These students already know where to put and how to set up all of their belongings. They know whether or not it’s comfortable to study in bed or better to study at the desk. 

On the other hand, these students may be subject to the bad habits they obtained last year since their environment is the same. It’s beneficial for students to clean and reorganize their rooms prior to the school year. Cleaning one’s room can have benefits such as saving time, enabling one to fine things easier and allowing clearer thoughts.. Messy bedrooms can reflect a disorganized headspace, but they can also reflect past experiences. If a student wants to forget and clear their mind of last year’s events, they can start by cleaning up and throwing out old items in their apartment.

Bad habits are easy to obtain, but so are good ones. A new hairstyle may require waking up 10 minutes earlier for class, but once it becomes routine, students will find themselves waking up with ease. Students deciding to change their routines should heavily consider it and start by doing something as simple as putting up a new poster in their room. It’s easy to get lost in a comfortable routine, but it may be hard to see the negative outcomes. Each student should start their year fresh by doing or replacing old items with new ones that help explain who they are. These items will then be a symbol of how they want to feel and act for the rest of the year. 

Megan Klepper is a senior, writing, rhetoric and technical communication major. Contact Megan at