A freshers honeymoon phase
We’re back from our unbelievably long Christmas break, back to work and back to adulting. Over the holidays I reverted back to my inner child and managed to rack up over 200 hours of minecraft. Although you may find it either funny or pathetic, it was both. I had plans to be on top of my modules and fit in all the things I had planned. Whether it be binging the Witcher in a day or catching up with siblings, it was busy. When you leave for university you leave your home behind; I left my friends, family and hobbies. So of course when I went back for Christmas break I tried to fit everything in at once. Without a doubt my holidays became a circus, with me, the clown. The first two weeks were one large social event. I was scrambling to catch up with everyone I missed, desperately trying to match our schedules. I visited my old school, saw my friends from each corner of London, created a new sims family and all. This was something I wasn’t used to. I’m usually introverted, yet it’s entirely different when you’re placed back in the home you had to leave. Going back to see that your favourite chicken shop has been shut down really does change a woman.
Then I was on a cocktail date in Camden with my cousin when it hit me, I have two weeks left to prepare to go back to Warwick. So two weeks seems like a good amount of time right? Well it’s really not. We (my flatmate and I, basically my wife) had a lot of shopping as we decided to break our kitchen utilities. As well as that, I had to learn 12 chapters of Latin for my Monday 9am exam on the first day of term. No it doesn’t stop there, I had two weeks to compile notes on the entirety of my first term modules. Oh and another thing, I had to adjust my carnivorous diet to a strict vegan lifestyle within less than a month. I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to perfect my Latin and compile my notes so I essentially had to prioritise my biggest struggle: translation. I lost a chunk of marks in the first exam from the translation so I focused entirely on reading the textbook and translating. This allowed me to pick up grammar and vocabulary along the way, although I strongly recommend doing the exercises and activities too. Clearly I’m incompetent so that seemed to be suffice. To my surprise I did well in the translation but it came at a cost; I lost marks on grammar. I hope you see what I’m getting at here. I managed to compile the notes, but not in the structure I initially planned. In the car ride home I planned a clear structure to my holidays – 2 hours a day on Latin and 1-2 days a week on each module. Did I follow this? I think you know the answer by now. Rather than bulking and overwhelming myself, had I put time aside daily to do a set amount of work it would have been ideal. That would give the balance needed to have a break but still be on top of everything.
Now that I’m back at university, I know the honeymoon phase is over. I’m still a fresher but I’m not a fresher. The first term is done, I’m used to the balance between work and home life. So, why didn’t it transfer to home? We all left first term exhausted and battered, especially if you were one of the social butterflies who circled weekly. For students like myself with a stable home environment, home was my escape from the ‘adulting’ of university. I’m lucky to have the privilege of a safe space at home with family and friends who are content with my nonsense, although it’s good to be mindful that the holidays can be very difficult for those with problematic households. There’s no way I could get away with 20 hour movie marathons whilst at university, otherwise my entire routine is disrupted. Could I really wake up for 9am Latin after a Marvel marathon? (Clive I swear I did not do this whilst on campus I promise). The mistake I made was thinking that I could ignore my responsibilities until I got back. Now that you’ve made the leap from college / 6 form student to a full time undergraduate, you need to fully embrace that. It’s more than okay to rack up 200 hours in any game you like, even if it’s planet zoo. Just be mindful to split and manage your time to accommodate your new life. If not, the second term will be rocky.