Things I’ve learnt in Term Two
Hello everyone! I have officially finished the second term in my second year of university. Which means that I have 4 more terms to go in Warwick University. I don’t know why I felt sad when I typed that. I am now in a super shaky train sat beside a toilet in a West Midlands train headed to London. I will be off for my Easter Holiday and I am excited.
This term has been amazing! I felt that it happened way too quickly and it’s true, time flies fast when you’re having fun. Here are some of the things I’ve learnt in my second term.
1. This is the time to get your priorities right.
I can tell you this, second term will be one of the most stressful yet, if you allow it to be. I have learnt to anticipate this (prior to my awful experience of studying last minute last year, please don’t ever do that, if you care about your grades). Hence, I started being more active in lectures and asking the lecturers and tutors immediately when I don’t understand the content. Start revising early! If you like being busy like me, i.e. tries to participate in every competition/ activities in your societies, then by all means, go ahead. But also remember the main reason why you are here, to study. Your parents (or at least for me, the firm who pays for my scholarship/ the taxpayers in my country) didn’t send you here to skip lectures or seminars because of an activity that made you pull an all-nighter the day before. They sent you here to study. To give back to the society with the things you’ve learnt in university. Hence that is what you should do. How? Scheduling. I will cover this in my next post. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.
2. “Progress, not perfection.”
This is what this wonderful girl I met in the Sprint Programme said to me when I was in despair about my academic performance. Lili, if you see this, just know that you are amazing! Had a bad grade in your tests? Well, make sure you improve the next time. And expect improvements, not perfection. You can’t be getting D and then an A* jump in your next test. You can’t also get a fail then expect a first. Take it one at a time. Make sure you go to your lecturers, tutors and your pastoral tutor in the department to ask what is wrong, and how can you improve. This can also be applied in your extra curricular activities. I have been actively joining the swimming sessions in the triathlon club. I was pretty upset when I got last place in the aquathlon session and how I am the slowest during the session. But then I realised, I’ve only started swimming this academic year. I am the clownfish among the sharks! I can’t be expecting a sudden exponential growth in my swimming speed. Us beginners must take it slow and keep improving. Whatever you do, just keep swimming.
3. Keep in touch with your family and friends at home.
This term for me is the busiest yet, hence why it’s my favourite term. But it comes with a price. My time contacting with my family. Please do make time to contact your loved ones. It is so so important to keep tabs with what is going on with your family. The recent New Zealand shooting broke my heart into pieces, it reminds me that time is scarce, and you should appreciate your loved ones while they are here. No matter how busy or idle you are, do contact them.
4. Solve one problem one step at a time, it is okay if it is time-consuming. It can be solved.
One thing I’ve learnt is to also solve your problems one by one. When you think about all your problems at once, it gets overwhelming and that’s when the anxiety kicks in. For me, that is a waste of time. I realised that because of my overthinking of the problems I faced last term, I wasted time panicking about it rather than solving it. I had a stressful time looking for a house and the fear of me being homeless or being with strangers whom I may not vibe with daunts me. I went back and forth, house hunting on my own. I had a test to prepare as well during the period, but I tell myself to finish the test first, then settle with this problem. I am so blessed that I finally found a house and will hopefully have a good time there for the next academic year. Problems will always be there, it’s up to you to decide how to deal with it.
5. Rejection is beautiful. When one door closes, another one opens.
Last year in term two, I applied to be a President in a society. This was my first time speaking and trying to convince people to vote for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the position. I was quite sad about it and I think it was primarily because I compared myself to my peers who landed positions in a renowned society. I think this year, I finally found my true passion hence I decided to try out for a position once again. I am glad to say that I am a Secretary for a sport club I genuinely enjoy! I always believe that if I am rejected for something, it’s because there is another opportunity waiting for me to discover.
These are the five lessons I’ve learnt in Term Two. I hope that you readers have an insight on what term two is like and know that it is okay to take it one step at a time. If you are doing your A-Levels in the next term, all the best. Hopefully you’ll get a lot of revision done in this Easter break (note to self). Have a good break everyone!