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Jan 04 2017
by Jamie Su

The 7 Stages of Denial When Going Back to School

By Jamie Su - Jan 04 2017

Christmas is over and now we're onto 2017... and that means starting a brand new term with new classes. Perhaps you have goals and resolutions for the new term; to have better work ethics, to put in more effort in specific classes and more. But getting back to work after relaxing for a couple of weeks can be difficult — what was it like picking up a pen? Note-taking and furious scribbling during classes seem so foreign now. As college students try to get back into the swing of their regular school routines, here are the seven stages of denial they face as they go back to school. 

1. Contemplation

As you rock yourself back and forth, you may be questioning everything: what is life? What is college? Why didn't you use your time more wisely during the Christmas break? You could've gone out and done adventurous and exciting things with your friends, but instead, you may have slept in and done nothing. Now, it's too late because you're going back to your full-time job as a student. Cue the feelings of regret. 

2. Dread

You may still be in the holiday mood, unprepared to face reality and get back to your regular routine. Time flew by way too quickly for your liking. Do you really have to go back? The first few months was already torture. As the thought of assignments, projects and late nights fill your mind, you're already dreading the thought of returning back to your dorm or apartment and beginning the new term.

3. Refusal

The inner immature child in you wants to run away and avoid reality, hysterically screaming and crying about how you aren't going back to college. Ever. All you want to do is hibernate in the comfort of your bed and have a longer, well-deserved break — especially since you didn't appreciate the precious Christmas break and time you were given. These past few weeks just didn't feel long enough.  

4. Crying

It's time to go back to school and leave behind your comfortable bed, family and good food. If you're living in residence, you're going to have to face eating the tiring cafeteria food that can never match your parents' cooking. If you're living in your own apartment, you're left with no choice but to eat your mediocre meals that just aren't the same as home cooked food. Let the hysterical crying begin. Oh, and what's going to make you cry even more? Leaving your beloved pet behind once again.

5. Shock

Wait, what? Reality hasn't sunken in. You have to study? All of those late nights staring at your textbook and writing papers seem so foreign to you now. Just thinking of pulling all-nighters and the other responsibilities you have at college are probably making you feel mortified, horrified and sick to your stomach.

6. Becoming Acclimated To Irregular Sleeping Hours 

It's time to grab your caffeine and sacrifice your sleep for school. The new semester has begun and with you being busy 24/7, caffeine is your only cure now. It's the only thing that keeps you awake at 3 AM now. You drown yourself in several cups of coffee a day and get few hours of sleep. Ah, the college life — messing up your sleeping schedule once again.

7. Accepting Your Impeding Doom

Now that you're back at college and facing your fears, you've finally accepted your fate. This is it. It's all over. You were mentally unprepared for war. Now, you're just dead on the inside. College has officially ruined your soul in 2017. 

Although there are many factors that make you dread going back to college after the Christmas break such as schoolwork, there are plenty of things to look forward to, like seeing your college friends again, taking serene walks on campus and appreciating the choice you made by choosing the college you're attending. College can be hard work, but in the end, it'll all pay off.

Lead Image Credit: Tim Gouw via Unsplash

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Jamie Su - University of Waterloo

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