January blues and heading back to uni

By Lizzie Midgley-Peters, BA (Hons) Creative Writing, 2nd Year.

So Christmas is over, the decorations are down, and you’re getting ready to head back to university. For some, there may be nothing but feelings of excitement and eagerness to get back to friends in the city, after possibly being a little sick of the family, but for others, it may be more difficult.

After all of the merriment of Christmas has worn off and left us with the reality of a New Year and looming responsibilities, it can be easy for January blues to set in. Especially if you’ve got a support system at home that you’re preparing to leave to get back to your studying life.

It can be particularly overwhelming if your university is far away from your home, and leaving the safety of your family and friends mean you’ll have to fend for yourself again for a little while. On top of that, the stress of upcoming deadlines and actually having to start and get out of bed before midday can take its toll pretty quickly.

But while all of this stress is starting to kick in, there are a few things you can do to make it easier for yourself.

Plan Ahead

Organisation can be a key ingredient to battling January blues. The biggest struggle I have at this time of year is how absolutely overwhelming it feels to imagine getting back into a routine and getting back on top of my responsibilities.

Although it is easier to keep putting these things off, planning out my first couple of weeks back, including my timetable, time for work at home, my job and looking after myself has helped it not seem so overwhelming, and has almost halved my anxiety for heading back to study.

Also, remember why you came to Uni in the first place! Keep your passion at the front of your mind, and your motivation should follow a little easier.


One thing I’m supremely bad at, but another important one for heading back to uni, is making plans to see friends. Organise to see some friends you haven’t seen for a month or so. Remember that they might be feeling the same way about heading back, but you can talk it all out over a welcome-back drink, coffee or lunch!

Keep in Touch

Remember, it’s okay to still need the comfort of talking to people from home even when you’re back at uni. Make time to regularly catch up with friends and family, just because you’re a bit further away doesn’t mean no contact!