Transitioning into Summer

May 10, 2024 8:00 AM

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)

As you consider making your transition from Oberlin to your summer destination(s), here are some suggestions to care for your mental health and wellbeing.  

Adjustment and Routine

  • Be gentle with yourself as you adjust.  There are likely significant differences between your routines, schedules, expectations, and relationships at Oberlin and your summer destination. Take time to observe and adjust to these changes. 

  • Implement a routine including a regular sleep schedule and mealtimes. 
    • Waking up at a consistent time allows your body to build up a sleep drive to produce those sleepy feelings at night so you can fall asleep more easily. 
    • Meals at regular intervals throughout the day can be regulating for mood as well as energy levels. Maintaining regularity can also help to establish routine and regular anchor points in your day. 

Making Meaning

  • Engage with things you find meaningful. Consider what your values are (e.g. creativity, relationships, inner-peace). If you are unsure what your values are, consider exploring this worksheet, this workbook, and/or the Values in Action questionnaire- to provide you with a place to start.  Use your values to guide your actions.
  • Consider taking a more structured approach to your days or weeks. Be sure to make a plan before the plan is going to start (perhaps, the Sunday before the week or in the evening before the next day). This allows a sense of volition and empowerment rather than the drifting/listless feeling that can come from waking up and feeling bored and unfulfilled.  There are many ways to accomplish this- here are a few. 
    • Identifying tasks that you want to accomplish each day of the week
    • Planning out specific morning and afternoon activities (for example, every morning planning to work on a special project, afternoons working on self-care, and evenings to socialize with friends, family or online folks)
    • Planning out each hour
  • Try to manage your expectations of yourself. While summer can be a great time to work on interests and projects, remember that 3 months is a relatively short amount of time- so expecting yourself to do all the tasks you have been trying to accomplish for several years is not a fair shake. Try to pick a few things that are most important to you and celebrate the small wins along the way (for example, if you have always wanted to learn guitar, perhaps start with learning how to read music and/or to play one song). Oftentimes one of the biggest barriers to making progress is feeling overwhelmed with getting started or trying to do too many things all at once. 


  • Stay connected with your support system. Talk more specifically with your friends about how you want to stay connected. For example, set up a weekly game night, make a discord server to share content, or set a standing hangout time for the group to meet every week to check in. Perhaps engage with friends toward a shared goal (e.g. a weekly book club) or find ways to encourage one another and provide accountability (e.g. texting each other about the times you went to dance class to provide encouragement). 
  • Talk to your family about expectations and boundaries if visiting home. It’s important to talk to your family about expectations while home. For example, will you have plans outside of family gatherings? Is there a curfew you need to follow? Are there chores or other responsibilities they are expecting you to do? Depending on your family dynamic, it can be difficult and uncomfortable to ask these questions. Here is an article that may be helpful to share with them. 


  • Incorporate mindfulness and self-care into your day. Incorporating mindfulness into your day, whether it’s a few minutes of meditation (see our MindSpa) or journaling (check out these journaling prompts), can help you feel grounded. Take time to listen to music, go on walks, create, or otherwise express yourself. 
  • Refresh your room. If you can, shift furniture, switch out posters to your more current interests, and/or put up more current photos of your friends and pets. Environmental cues are powerful influencers of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. If the space you are in reminds you of previous experiences, difficulties, or times of suffering - this can have a real impact on your wellbeing. 
  • Take time to reflect on the school year. Journal and/or ask yourself or a trusted other about what went well, what challenges you encountered, and what you learned about yourself while navigating the school year. Consider applying those lessons as you recover and plan for the fall (e.g. “Last semester I felt burnt out on writing, maybe in the fall I’ll take 2 writing intensive classes instead of 3”)
  • Try to take a compassionate stance toward yourself. Think about the way you talk to yourself and ask if this is the same way you would talk to your closest loved one. Check out this resource to explore how to implement self-compassion in your daily life. 

Use Online Self-Help Resources

  • Uwill offers students a platform chock full of helpful videos, resources, and tools (all available using your Oberlin email to sign in) 
  • MindSpa has virtual relaxation resources created by CAPS which includes resources on meditation, relaxation, mental health podcasts and more
  • Ulifeline is an online resource center for college students to search for the information they need including on various mental health topics, advice on helping a friend, and self-assessment tools
  • Check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for mental health related resources, activities and events

Connecting with Mental Healthcare while Away

Student Health and Wellbeing (SHAW) and CAPS have teamed up to make sure that students always have access to therapeutic care. Here are some of the resources offered to you as as student: 

  • Free and Immediate = All students at CAPS have access to 6 virtual sessions through UWill - these are free and confidential, with same-day appointments available
  • Finding an off-campus provider 
    • Thriving Campus is an online database of community providers- you can search by specific specialties, time openings, and insurance. 
    • Check out this "How to Find a Provider" resource for additional search, engines, tips for talking with a new therapist, and ways to navigate insurance
  • If you are currently on the student health insurance plan, you can review your benefits information, including resources for Teletherapy.

If you need immediate support-  see our crisis resources page