Ho Ho Help!

Updated By Staff Writer on March 30, 2020

Going Back to School after the Holidays


You know what’s terrible about winter break? No, not soggy mittens, or holiday shopping, or Aunt Myrna’s fruitcake. What’s really terrible is … January!

Because suddenly a long, dark month of winter stretches out before you without a holiday in sight. And after two weeks off, you may or may not be excited about starting a new module.

We at Independence University know just how you feel. We’ve gone through the post-holiday blues, too. Fortunately, we’ve picked up a few (scientifically backed!) tricks along the way that can help you make 2020 a strong and productive year. 

Trick 1:

You’re going to laugh at us, but hear us out. Treat yourself like you’d treat your kids. How would you get them ready to go back to school after a long break? 


First, you’d get them back on their school sleeping schedule before school starts. The holidays were fun, but sleep is essential to the body and brain’s well-being. Get yourself back on track before the beginning of class. It will make all the difference.


Second, you’d make your kids eat healthy for a few days before school starts. You don’t want them going back to their studies with a bottle of antacid tablets in their backpacks. Get those vitamins and minerals pumping through your veins again!


Third, buy yourself some new duds (otherwise known as clothes), or wear whatever you already have in your closet that makes you feel your best. Remember how it felt to go back to school after the holidays in the new clothes you’d been gifted? You felt confident and sharp! Even if you’re just going to sit down at your computer for class, the clothes will still work their magic. Try it!

Trick 2:

Find a way to acknowledge the fact that you’re continuing on an important journey. After all, getting through college is a huge task. 

For example, if you celebrate a gift-giving holiday during winter break, wrap some school-related gifts for 2020 and have someone important in your life give them to you. 

Say you have your kids give them to you on Christmas Day. They’d probably think it’s kind of funny and ask you why. You’d tell them something like, “These are things I’ll be spending a lot of time with over the next few months. They’ll help me toward my degree so I can become a better provider. These gifts represent my love for you.”

Yeah, it sounds corny. But doing something like this really does help, because you make your intentions public, which will make you more likely to fulfill them—and your loved ones will be more likely to support you in doing so.  

Trick 3:

What can you do to keep your spirits up for the next few months as you work toward your college goals? Especially when you’re trying to balance school with work and family?

Once again, you need to find ways to acknowledge that what you’re doing is tough and that you deserve some credit. 

Small Rewards

Celebrate completed classwork with little rewards. Maybe with a bonbon, or an episode of a new sitcom, or by strutting triumphantly into a room full of people and bellowing, “The beast has been slain!” (Make sure they cheer wildly.)

Medium Awards

But don’t stop with the small rewards. You’ll have papers to write and tests to take that will require a lot more work. So plan something bigger to celebrate their completion. Maybe a meal at your favorite restaurant, or a movie, or some power rock karaoke with a dramatic mic drop at the end!

Big Rewards

And make sure you have something big and amazing planned for when you finish your final test at the end of a module. Something you and your friends or family can really look forward to. Something that says, “Heck yeah! I rock!” Having a goal connected to a reward will provide extra motivation and give your work meaning.

Make It a Journey

The purpose of all this is to turn your day-to-day work into a journey instead of drudgery—not just for you, but also for your loved ones. Gaining the support of the people around you is essential not only to meeting your goals but also to being physically and emotionally healthy along the way. And the best way for others to be supportive is to be invested in your goals.

The best way to combat the post-holiday blues is to be engaged in a program you love that will help build your future. Request more info about the degree programs offered at Independence University by using our online form.