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The 5 Stages of Back-to-School Grief at LSU

As the winter holidays come to an end and classes begin to start back up, we often have a hard time coping with our loss of freedom. If you feel this way around the time classes start back, know that you’re not alone. We all go through the same stages each return back to school, and we’re here to break it down for you: 

1.) Denial:
You spent your entire holiday sleeping and doing all things NOT related to school. Even though your New Year’s resolution was probably to get your shit together and focus on your academics, you’re spending all of your money at Fred’s while drunk dialing that ex you said you would never talk to again. This phase allows some to survive the close approach of classes starting again and having to readjust to new schedules. However, can also cause you to crash and burn at the start of the semester due to the lack of preparedness.

2.) Anger:
This is most common during syllabus week and can last days afterward. First, you have to play musical chairs for a damn parking spot behind Tiger Stadium to go to classes you don’t even want to be in, then your professors go over what’s expected in their class and all the materials you need. (You know, things that could easily be handled in a quick email or Moodle post). By this point, a grieving student transforms to an angry student. 

3.) Bargaining:
It’s not unusual to try begging for a miracle to give you a few more days of freedom, or promising to take your responsibilities seriously if some higher power would just forgive you for your mistakes in past semesters and let this one not be what kills them. 

4.) Depression:
Grieving students start to contemplate if their classes are even worth it. Some may even wonder if they chose the wrong major. This depression can also be caused from parting with loved ones. The home cooked meals are soon replaced with Rasing Cane’s and frozen dinners; grandma is no longer there to slip you cash from underneath the table…this feeling of emptiness can disrupt our ability to think clearly. How are we supposed to do readings the first week back to class on these empty stomachs and pockets?

5.) Acceptance:
After a couple weeks we’ll all be settled into our classes and actually adjusting to our new schedules. Syllabus week is over and the real shit begins. We remember how stupid we were to complain during Syllabus week when we actually have assignments due. It is important to understand that the acceptance stage does not mean you’re “okay” with being back in class, but rather you’ve embraced that the holidays are over and that the time would come eventually that you had to go back to school and face spring semester. 

Welcome back, Tigers!


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