Balancing the Work in the Holidays – OurWarwick

Balancing the Work in the Holidays

So term 1 is done. It’s always a wonderful yet slightly terrifying sentence but it’s true once again and in the weirdest way yet.

With all of my course material being moved online for the final week of term, week 8 replaced week 9 as my ‘panicking to get things done’ week. Week 9 replaced week 10 as my ‘finishing up the Christmas at uni and preparing to go home’ week. And then week 10 at home threw me off completely!

My biggest fear at the moment is the lack of borders between working and relaxing with everything being online and therefore all taking place in the same location. It’s still a new experience and I’m still struggling to find that balance.

Week 9 was a great week. It was my busiest of the term as I was in on campus twice for labs and twice for asymptomatic tests but also, I was past the major deadlines for the term and I took that as a signal to relax. I decided to focus on the things that had to be done (i.e. lab work), leaving the rest of my lectures for week 10 and deciding to just try and enjoy a final festive week with my housemates.

On Friday we had a very successful Christmas meal accompanied by a mad dash to try and throw secret Santa presents under our tiny tree without knowing who each was from and, after successfully having convinced my housemates to watch Die Hard (the most festive film of them all) last year, we sat down to watch Die Hard 2 (which, yes, is still a Christmas film) after dinner and enjoyed some homemade Christmas pudding and a bowl of yule log which had lost some structural integrity in the assembly process.

All in all, a great end to the term…

But that was the issue. I am so used to coming home at the end of term that I had almost forgotten that I had about a week and half of lectures still to do once I was back at home.

We were putting up the tree and decorating the house on my first day back and just catching up on more than ten weeks apart. It was lovely but not productive from a work point of view.

I quickly slipped into a holiday state of mind and lost my motivation to get up and get started in the mornings and now that I have started again, I’m being careful not to forget to actually take a break at some point as term 2 will be here before we know it.

That’s what I wanted to focus on in this post. I wanted to try and remind everyone in a similar position that we need to get our work done but we also need a break. I think it could be easy to slip into habits of leaving all the work until term 2 comes around or doing the opposite and never actually stopping to enjoy the time at home without deadlines.

Just because everything may happen at home now and all the work is available for you to do at any hour of the day don’t forget to prioritise yourself sometimes. Take a break to read a book that’s not course related, to get in the festive spirit by baking or watching films or just to catch up on whatever hobby it is that university might have gotten in the way of.

So I hope whoever is reading has a great break and a chance to reset for term 2 and I hope we can all find that balance wherever we are between working and relaxing!

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