Student in mask carries two suitcases to a line of cars outside of Farrand Field.

Heading home for the end of the semester may bring us some much needed relief, but it can also be a source of stress or anxiety. Whether you’re planning to stay with family, form new traditions, enjoy some time at home or just make it to the end of this semester, here are a few tips to help you make the transition home. 

Prevent the spread of COVID-19 while traveling

Getting tested before traveling is crucial to helping prevent the spread of the virus and protect the health of those around you. We strongly encourage any students planning to leave Boulder to get tested 48 to 72 hours prior to departure.

If you do not have symptoms, please visit one of the surveillance testing sites around campus. If you have symptoms, please schedule a COVID-19 testing appointment at Wardenburg.

#1 Set boundaries

Boundaries help provide structure and allow us to maintain healthy relationships. If you’re planning to stay with family or roommates for the remainder of the semester or break, it can be helpful to set boundaries and clear expectations up front. Let people know what your plans are, including how long you plan to be around and how much time you expect to spend with them. Sometimes, tough conversations will come up. Check out this article to learn how to make the most of a tough or challenging conversation

This is also a great time to discuss your family’s expectations for you while you’re at home. For instance, you may be expected to follow a curfew, help with chores or take on additional responsibilities. Having clear expectations in place can help you avoid unwanted tension and create a more positive experience for both you and your loved ones. 

#2 Get into a routine

It may be difficult to adjust to life at home if our routines and schedules change significantly. That’s why it’s important to set yourself up with a regular daily routine if possible. A good way to get started is to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep will help you feel more rested and it can even improve your memory, mood and immunity. You may also find it helpful to plan out your days, so you can balance your priorities like studying, work, alone time and quality time with friends and family. You can also check out this article to find things to look forward to while you’re away.

#3 Find healthy ways to cope with stress

Between remote learning, finals and the upcoming holidays, we may begin to feel more stressed than usual. While some of us may see alcohol or marijuana use as a quick fix to various sources of stress, research shows it can actually cause more negative impacts and stress in the long run. Instead, try to find positive outlets for your stress. Consider mindfulness practices, physical activity, talking with friends, cooking or getting outside as healthier alternatives.

#4 Prepare for your next step

Whether you’re a fan of resolutions or not, this is a great opportunity to reflect on your goals as you finish out the semester and year. Think about what you hope to accomplish over the next few months. Perhaps you’d like to improve your grades, ace your finals, land an internship or job, switch your major or become more involved at CU. Identify your goals and break them down into manageable steps.

For instance, if your goal is to land an internship, think about the things you’ll need to do to get there like exploring career paths, researching companies, filling out applications, participating in mock interviews, etc. Create a timeline for yourself of when you’d like to complete each task and remember to celebrate milestones on the way to your end goal.

#5 Make time for yourself

Remember that it’s important to focus on your own needs. Make time for self-care, dive into your hobbies or try something new. If you need inspiration, check out these must-hear college podcasts, join the Rec Center for free virtual activities or look for opportunities to help your community through the Volunteer Resource Center.

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