Tuesday, October 30th, 2018...4:05 pm

Surviving the Midterm Slump!

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By: Samara Moore, Gradlife Ambassador

It is one of the most dreaded periods on the calendar of a university student –midterms! Whether we welcome it or not, midterm season is upon us at the University of Toronto.

It is the time of year when we are tasked with working through an onslaught of assignments. Would it be presumptuous for me to assume that, if you are a Teaching Assistant, you find yourself spending your Friday nights, curled up on your couch, with endless assignments to mark? Is it safe to wonder if any of us have been operating on a sufficient amount of sleep, over the past few weeks? How are you managing the pressure and demands of midterms?

If I am honest, then I must admit that midterm season has been challenging for me. I have been feeling stressed and overwhelmed with assignments. I feel guilty when I am not able to spend time with friends, or fulfill all of my commitments because of school. I feel ashamed when I struggle to manage my time efficiently. I also hate to admit this, but I struggle with trying to release myself from my inclination to measure my success, as a graduate student, by my grades.

If you are struggling during this period –you are not alone. I don’t have solutions, as I am still trying to figure out how to navigate this process myself. I would like to share some points to keep in mind, as I am finding them helpful.

Yesterday I had a conversation with one of my classmates that really inspired me. She said that when she is feeling discouraged in grad school, she thinks back to that moment when she received her UofT acceptance letter. She remembers the hard work that brought her to this point, and her hopes for how she will use her education to make a difference in the future. Listening to her really lifted my spirits! It encouraged me to shift my focus from ruminating on my perceived shortcomings, to reflecting upon my strengths and the blessing of being a student!

Midterms are tough! We all have unique challenges. If you are experiencing the struggle of your own midterm slump, I encourage you to show yourself some compassion and grace. You will make it through!

Until next time,

Samara



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