Let’s be honest with ourselves: in the words of Sartre (well, not really), things just got REAL. I don’t know how it is for everyone else, but my to-do list is covered in highlighting and red pen and exclamation marks. I might be behind by “a reading or two”. It’s possible that I have started brushing my teeth in the shower to save time. Yes, the illustrious afternoons of sipping-iced-tea-while-reading-on-the-lawn have been replaced by late nights of working through one more problem set and wondering why coffee doesn’t work anymore. Happy October, lifeatuoft!
Whether you’re completely new to this, or you’re like me and been here since dinosaurs were declaring their majors, it’s easy to fall into some bad habits. Does licorice suddenly seem like a nutritious meal? Have you started calculating your hours (or mere minutes) of sleep in terms of the number of words you could have written in that time? Are you reading lifeatuoft because it’s “kind of related to university”, so it’s a great excuse to take a break after 18 hours of studying?
At times like these, there are some things that we as students can be especially thankful for.
#1: Healthy foods that don’t require cooking.
Let’s face it – I’m the last one to want to julienne cucumbers when I have 6 chapters to read by tomorrow morning. Cheeseburgers are probably not the answer. Apples, yogurt, granola bars, and sushi are great options to keep in your fridge, because replacing actual food with fast food is that very special version of hell that your mother tried to warn you about.
#2: Hart House and the Athletic Centre.
Defy the status quo and spend more time being active during the busy times of the semester! When you create a weekly study schedule, plan 3 or 4 short trips to the gym to work out, get a massage, play pick up sports, or take a dance class. For free! FREE! Your body and mind will thank you.
#3: Having lunch with your best friend.
Eating PB&J while sitting on the floor of your dorm room in track pants and talking about life with your best friend is one of the great joys of undergrad that just will not happen when you’re 40. Savour it. These moments will also help keep you sane after spending three days straight in the library.
I learned the hard way in first year that sleeping every second night wasn’t actually “more efficient,” and that you can’t replace sleep with Red Bull and be able to do crazy math proofs on a final exam. FACT. So, when you’re planning out your day, remember that you can’t actually use all 24 hours of that day at Robarts. At least, not sustainably.
#5: Your College Registrar, the ASC, Accessibility Services, and your TAs.
As perfect as we all are, sometimes we’re not. These people have incredible power and compassion to help you with challenges that may stray into your path. They were all students once, too. Be honest with them and with yourself, and there will almost always be a solution to problems you might be having.
#6: The people in your classes.
More specifically, actually talking to them. Not only are the people you meet a potential study group, but you’ll learn more and finish your work faster. Plus, that late-night chemistry lab suddenly won’t seem like such a chore.
#7: Drop deadlines.
Well… you know the drill.
#8: Moments of Zen.
And by this, I mean the most sacred dates on the university calendar: Holiday Mondays. Take these days and use them for their intended purpose – eating delicious meals, watching Sister Act, and getting outdoors. Put down the [required] reading and take a day to recharge.
As all-important as the college election, your term paper, or an argument with your roommate may seem, taking a step back and asking, “How will this affect me in 5 years?” is sometimes necessary to remember the truly important things. Which brings me to…..
#10: All of the amazing people in your life.
They’ll love you no matter how badly you did on the last quiz. Seriously. So go make a hand turkey with them, and have an amazing, stress-free Thanksgiving Weekend.