If you work at an institution of higher education, are students back on your campus yet?

Classes haven’t started on my own campus, but students have been moving in, getting oriented, and generally taking over all of our bike lanes and parking lots.

I know that the campus is really for them, and I absolutely welcome them back with open arms, but… campus is just so quiet in the summer.

The transition from summer to fall can be a bit jarring because the summer months tend to be so much slower. I often have less meetings, more time for writing, and more time to launch new and bigger projects. Plus, with various people taking vacation, I encounter less people in the office and on campus in general.

Fall, on the other hand, brings lots more people on campus. It’s also a season of lots of conference travel, as well as a much busier day-to-day schedule with more meetings, phone calls, and email that what I experience in July and August.

In preparation for this upcoming shift, here are some of the ways that I’m relaxing into the upcoming season:

  • Celebrating all things fall. It didn’t take me long to stock up on fall tea, get out my sweaters, and start looking up soup recipes. This time of year, even when the heat lasts through the end of September, I’m ready for rainy days, cozy clothes, and warm foods.
  • Getting realistic about goals. It’s hard to believe, but the end of the year is coming right around the corner. Now is the perfect time to think about what I want to get done in the next few months before the end of the calendar year and to set deadlines for when those things will be accomplished.
  • Planning, planning, and planning some more. I’m adding a new postdoc to my team this fall, presenting at several conferences, gathering data for several new research projects, launching a new collaborative research program, and promoting a couple of books. It’s going to be another busy work season, so looking ahead at my calendar and getting ahead as much as possible will definitely help to ease the load down the line.
  • Resting, resting, and resting some more. Over the summer, I was reminded of the importance of rest during my Restful July project and those lessons are still front and center for me. In additional to working less on the weekends, I’m also planning a spa day later this month and keeping up with reading novels in the evenings (with a cup of camomile, of course).

Looking ahead into the next season is always one of my favorite things to do.

To think on:

  • What are you most looking forward to in this next season?
  • How do you relax into new seasons where life speeds up?