Term Two Troubles
As we get deeper into term two, everything around you might be getting overwhelming. I know it is for me; keeping up with lectures, doing all your readings, watching the pre-lecture videos, balancing your extracurriculars with hanging out with friends with university work. When it gets like this it’s always worth just stopping and taking a breath. Perhaps spend an hour to yourself – away from the people, work and activities demanding your time – and do some self-reflection. By yourself, with yourself and for yourself. Take a moment to rebalance and focus on your mental health. Once all the static and noise has calmed down a bit, reorganise your approach to university, or reaffirm it if it works for you. Here’s what I try to do each week, and how I try to reorganise/reaffirm myself.
In lectures and seminars, I bring a small notebook to take rough notes instead of my laptop so I have more freedom in how I take the information down (also because my laptop dies really quickly). The aim is to then neatly redo those notes at the end of the week, whether that be to type it up onto my computer or neatly write them up. This way I can both revise the information and properly do my notes.
In hindsight, though I have been using my notebook, I have not been doing this. Going forward, I need to either properly dedicate time at the end of the week, such as on Saturday, to be able to do this or use more care in making my notes at the moment that I make them.
I’m a person who has every day of the week planned with an extracurricular, and hanging with my friends comes naturally in the day. Juggling this with uni work has made me quite exhausted: physically and mentally. Upon reflection, I may need to take out a few things I do in the week and put myself and my well-being first. If you’re also a person that’s incredibly busy, cutting down on the things you do in the week – no matter how much you enjoy doing them, may be beneficial to your mental health.
Because I’ve been so busy this term, I’ve neglected cooking and making sure I have proper meals to sustain me during the day. Having acknowledged this, going forward I will make sure to make time to at least cook food down for the week; perhaps on a Sunday night, or a Tuesday night, as these are the nights where I’m the freest. If you can also relate to this, allow yourself the time to take care of you. You can even combine your cooking time with the time you hang out with your friends; perhaps make a meal together whilst listening to your favourite tunes. There are always more ways to handle situations/make things happen than first appears.
As people, we may have goals and aspirations that go beyond university life and present moments, however, it’s so incredibly easy to fall beyond on them or not work towards them as we get caught up in everything else. So, once again, take a moment to breathe and reaffirm yourself and all you want to achieve. In that moment, identify what’s stopping you from getting to where you want to go, then rearrange your life to allow you to continue down that path. Personally, I have so many goals ranging from writing novels to making music, but with the buzz of uni life, it’s been hard to even remember I wanted to do those things. Having acknowledged this, I will make a priority list which, when faced with a time-usage trade-off situation, will allow me to really be true to the person I want to be – not just in that moment, but in a long-term perspective.
If you’re reading this blog and are looking for a take-home message, it would be to prioritise you. If something’s not working, change it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, make time for you. If you have goals you want to achieve, be your own best friend and make them happen. I know this is advice that I need to hear and I hope that it’s been helpful to you too.