Looking back to see how far I’ve come
I can’t remember where but I once read that the only time you should look back is to see how far you’ve come. Like a few other sayings, I remember this one and have it stuck in my head although I don’t think I follow it very well. Therefore to mark the end of 2018, I thought it might be good to reflect upon some positives in my academic life from what now is last year. It’s interesting how for students, a year can feel very much like a polar molecule entailing a ride from fear to fun. We jump into January dreading exams knowing the happy and laid-back days of term 1 are gone. Term 2 is all about catching up on life and term three is the time of sitting exams followed by what in my case tends to be a long existential crisis i.e. summer and then we end our year with an adventure-filled term 1 and holidays.
My optional modules are really good, I really enjoyed learning new things last term, just hope this whole revision thing will be somewhat nice to me. I am also one of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Ambassadors for the year and this is a role I am very excited about. I really hope to get more involved next term and do as much as I can to contribute in encouraging well-being on campus and get people talking about it more comfortably. I also volunteered with Warwick Volunteers last term and went twice for coppicing and path clearance events. I only did environmental volunteering because I like to spend time with Nature. Depending on how I’m feeling next term, I may go again but to be very honest I am seriously dreading exams.
I did a talk with the Warwick Sikh Society on ‘Sikhism and the Environment’ in November. This was a 30-minute presentation in front of around 7-10 people discussing the spiritual, scientific and economic reasons why we should care about our (only!) planet. I was the one to ask for the opportunity to do it in the first place so I feel very brave! The best part was I found that so many people care about the environment and if you’re reading this and ever feel like you are all alone in this fight for our planet, NO YOU ARE NOT!!! Speak to people about things that matter to you and you’ll discover so many others who feel the same. Also, recently I watched the TED Talk: The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it and I can tell you it’s really good.
Term 1 was very intense and nevertheless I think I handled it pretty well. I went to all my lectures and I got my sleep and not a single all-nighter. I also went to a lecture organised by the Maths department, I think, on ‘What can we do about climate change?’. This was in week ten and I absolutely loved it. It was great to be in a room where everyone cared about climate change and was there because they genuinely had this ‘what next?’ question in their heads.
This Christmas vacation has been very different to all my other ones. This year I didn’t lock myself up in my room all day long to study. Instead I’ve been working for a few hours daily and that’s it for the day. Term 1 was intense and the term 2 Manpreet can stress about exams. I’m taking this time off to spend time with family and recharge.
This was university life and personal life has been a whole different adventure. University is paying to shed buckets of blood, sweat and tears, to put it in the nicest way possible. But ask philosophers or indeed lovers, if you don’t have to fight for it, then it never feels valuable. This is perhaps the reason why everyone’s university experience is so special to them, no matter how lit or bland in another’s opinion.