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5 and Why: 5 mental health tips for new students

With the end of the spring semester comes the conclusion of our first year back to in-person classes after the COVID-19 pandemic. In anticipation of this upcoming fall semester, the University of New Mexico’s psychology department advisors came together to give us five tips to survive another post-pandemic year.

Take a break 

At a university, academics will almost always come first, but that doesn’t mean it’s the be-all, end-all. Taking some time to learn something new outside of academia can be a great way to maintain a love of learning and to explore something different during the summer months. 

“A big part of maintaining your motivation for school is allowing other parts of your life to flourish. It's okay to take a break when you need it,” the advisors wrote in an email to the Daily Lobo.

Embrace joy and have fun

While school can certainly have its enjoyable moments, it is important to give yourself time to enjoy everything life has to offer. The psychology advisors recommend taking time out of your schedule to see family, go outside or maintain a hobby in order to take a respite from school. 

“We recommend leaning in to whatever it is that gives you the space you need from school so you can return to class recharged and ready – and not feeling like you're running on fumes,” the advisors wrote.

Take on challenges as they come

You might be presented with your first syllabus of the new semester and immediately begin panicking over projects and assignments that aren’t due for another month. The advisors suggested taking a step back and approaching things one at a time.

“Try not to worry about school until you have to! You'll receive all the applicable information that you need as the first day of classes approaches. Take it easy in the meantime,” the advisors wrote.

Find what works for you

Developing skills such as time management and finding a system that works for you is essential to student success. Methods such as writing, visualizing or prioritizing tasks can be the right fit for some students, while others may find it helpful to divide one task into multiple smaller ones.

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”We also encourage students to not give into the sense of urgency that our world often demands of us (even though it’s tempting!) A lot of times, you’ll find that things aren’t quite as urgent as they seem,” the advisors wrote.

Use your resources

Each department offers its fair share of advisors who can help you out not only for the registration period, but throughout your whole degree. Advisors can help connect you with other resources and opportunities and provide the necessary information and assistance.

“We are here for you, and you're not alone,” the advisors wrote.

Annya Loya is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @annyaloya

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