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Topic: Mind - August 29 2022
Five Tips for How to Transition Back to School

Going back to college is a tough transition for anyone. We are thrown into a crazy mix of new, exciting, and terrifying things along with being student-athletes. VIS Expert™ and sports psychologist, Megan Cannon, says that there will be plenty of speed bumps along the way, but to give ourselves the grace to struggle and know that we’ll eventually find your way.

By: Kate Tugman

VIS Creator™

& Megan Cannon, PhD

VIS Expert™

Topic: Mind

August 29 2022

Summer is one of the only times where athletes primarily get a break from school and sports. Most student-athletes go home during this period in order to spend time with family and childhood friends. They get a break from the athletic, academic, and social stress of college. 

Since our summer schedules are so different from during the school year, it can be a shock to transition back to school when fall comes. Classes start up, practice becomes hard, games begin, and social expectations are put back into place. If you feel like you’re stressed about going back to school, don’t worry, because so many others are in the same boat. In this article, we provide tips for you to make a smoother transition back to school. 

Recognize that this is a transition and transitions can be hard!

Going back to college is a tough transition for anyone. What’s even worse, is starting college as a freshman. We  are thrown into a crazy mix of new, exciting, and terrifying things that can be overwhelming to anybody. On top of that, we are student-athletes, meaning we have much more to navigate than just the normal student. Cannon says that things will quickly go from 0-100 with plenty of speed bumps along the way, so it’s important to give ourselves  the grace to struggle and know that we’ll  eventually find our  way. 

Make your unknowns known 

Cannon suggests, “make your unknowns known,” meaning if we have specific questions, reach out for help! Ask teammates, coaches, roommates, etc, so that we can turn what we  don’t know into what we do know, which is extremely helpful in taking away our  stress. For example, if you are worried about not knowing your way around campus, ask an older teammate to show you around!

“Students and student-athletes struggle with transitioning to college everyday, so surround yourself with people who lift you up and even those outside of your sport so you can get a break. ”

Megan Cannon, VIS Expert™ and sports psychologist

Use your resources

On campus, student-athletes have access to plenty of resources, such as counseling services, athletic trainers and sports psychologists. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any of these people if we  are struggling. “Go when you are experiencing a three on a scale of ten, and don’t wait until it’s an eight or nine out of ten,” Cannon said. If we start receiving help before it gets too bad, it will help in the long run. Also, remember to reach out to family and friends back home if extra support is needed! 

Baseline daily behaviors

Cannons says to make sure that we are engaging in what she calls “baseline daily behaviors”: eating well, sleeping enough, and drinking plenty of water. It sounds pretty simple yet it is so important because doing these things properly will allow our bodies to function as they should. Not engaging in these activities can lead to fatigue, weight loss or gain, dehydration, depression, and so much more.   

Remember that you are not alone

It can’t be emphasized enough that we are not alone. Students and student-athletes struggle with transitioning to college everyday; it is completely normal, so don’t be embarrassed if we are struggling. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and even those outside of your sport so you can get a break. 

Remember to be easy on yourself because all transitions can be hard, no matter who you are. Reach out to coaches, friends, and family for support. As always,  remember that  Voice in Sport is always here to help as well!

Take Action

Share this article with your friends, family, and teammates in order to help those who may also be struggling with transitioning back to school. Additionally, read some of our articles here at VIS that address the topics of mental health.