Transitioning into the holidays: Finding A New Routine
You’ve done term 1 (well done), you’ve done term 2 (congratUlations), you’ve done all you’re lectures and seminars, and now you enter the Easter holidays. Undoubtedly a time, for most, of revision, a break from university (albeit not work), and some home time.
Easter holidays, for me, does not really involve that much revision. Instead I have to crack on with various essays, a writing portfolio, a placement, and a critical review of said placement. It is the busiest time of year for me. It means a complete shift in my normal routine, something which I have worked hard to establish and keep ticking over during the past twenty (!) weeks. Admittedly I am some way away from thinking about exams yet, but I still need to shift a lot of university work which will require some focus. I don’t know about you, but I have to upkeep a sense of routine if I want to stay somewhat focused and even happy.
To give some context, I am currently on placement in London (something which I intend to write about in the coming month as it is a fantastic opportunity provided by the Theatre and Performance studies department here at Warwick). So here begins my first few major changes: I am living away from home and university, I have started working in a professional creative environment, I don’t have many friends down in London (or at least not nearly as many as I have at home or at University), I don’t yet have a structured timetable as rehearsals start next week, and I don’t have any hobbies to pursue here (other than the pub). This is a long list to contend with and during my first few days here I felt quite lost, unmotivated, and tired.
After some rest and an impending deadline looming, I decided to get myself together. This meant, just like every other student, I had to transition from university life back into holiday life. Of course, the term ‘holiday’ is applied pretty loosely here but not to give up all hope- it is indeed a prescribed holiday and it would be foolish not to treat it as one, even if only partly. Still back to the matter at hand, I find dealing with change sometimes really difficult and one of the first things I always do to try and help ease myself into a new situation is create some kind of plan. I don’t have to stick to the plan as completing it perfectly isn’t the objective. Instead, it is more about anchoring myself and setting down some kind of framework. I try setting some small goals like: planning trips home every other weekend, doing some exercise a few times a week, planing to go and see friends, and carving out time to complete assignments. It could be, for instance, that I set a regular wake-up time and, like a job, have to complete one hour everyday of research for an essay, or some creative writing. Treating my work like a job that must be done daily, like clockwork, every morning/ afternoon/ evening helps initiate a *better* work ethic. It’s sometimes a pain but usually this approach helps. Again, if sometimes I miss a day, or a few days ( 🙁 ) then that’s fine to- I just try and get back to it ASAP.
As above, I find it essential to pepper in treats/ rewards during difficult times where I feel like change is happening around me all to quickly and I can’t quite find my feet. Some things I have planned for the next few weeks are: seeing one of my favourite singers in concert, purchasing some new items of clothing once payday rolls in, and I have messaged some of my dearest to organise a night out. If, like me the majority of the time, you are trying to save money during the holidays and the prospect of a rigorous holiday spent revising without anything to look forward to wears you out, then I would recommend looking for treats that are smaller (but by no means any less). It could just be a trip to watch the football at the pub, a good dog walk, buying some new nail polish, just incorporate a few little things that could boost yourself.
Thirdly, I always remind myself that whatever the holidays consist of (good or bad) it is only temporary. This is double edged- if your holidays are going great then it is a constant reminder to savour them, similarly if your holidays are dragging then remembering that they will end and they are not going to last forever, so you may as well find something to enjoy or at least learn during them, helps me most of the time.
I hope some of these ideas find you well and I look forward to speaking again soon.