My Back-to-School Plan

Once you leave the hospital, it may seem like you have an endless list of things to do. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed, but there are things you can do to make it easier.

The First Steps:

  • The most important thing to do is to take care of yourself. While you may want to jump right back into classes, homework and everything else you have to do, it is essential that you put your mental health first.
  • Take some time to rest. Do something relaxing that you enjoy.
  • Try to avoid activities that cause you stress or frustration. It may take some time before you are able to take on as many responsibilities as you would like. Be patient with yourself and what you’re able to do.
  • If you are faced with decisions that seem overwhelming, seek help from a mental health professional, academic counselor, family member or friend.  You don’t have to make big decisions on your own.

Getting back to class:

  • Contact the Dean of Students Office as soon as possible to help you transition back to classes.
    • If you already have an established relationship with an academic advisor or staff person at the Dean of Students Office, contact that person first.
  • Next, it is often helpful to list your courses and how to get in touch with each of your professors and GSIs.
    • Some professors and GSIs may require a medical note to excuse your absence. Hospital staff can provide you a general note that will not give details about your condition or why you were there. 
  • E-mail each professor/GSI to request an appointment. You could also meet during regular office hours, but you might want to schedule a private/individual meeting time instead.
  • When you meet with your professor/GSI, you are not required to give any information about your condition. Provide whatever details you feel comfortable sharing.
  • You might feel more comfortable talking to your professors/GSIs if you write down what you’re going to say ahead of time.
  • Bringing an Instructor Meeting Form with you to your appointment can be a helpful way to stay organized.
  • If you’ve missed a significant amount of class or feel that reducing your course load or withdrawing from classes would benefit your treatment and recovery, talk with an academic advisor about your options. 
  • Visit the academics section of this website for tips for managing academic stress.


Back to Mental Health Hospitalization

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