Balance, General, Places, Student Life

Sometimes You Need a Break

I was sitting in the lower lounge of  E.J. Pratt library last week when I looked outside and realized that there was waterfall just outside the glass, and that somehow I had been completely oblivious of it despite having sat right beside it for four days in a row.

photo of the pearson garden behind EJ Pratt library, featuring the elusive waterfall

With this realization came another: I haven’t truly given myself a break for the past month. October is my favourite month of the year, and I’ve been too busy trying to do every single reading and make sure that my essays were absolutely 100% perfect to actually stop and smell the roses, or stop and step on one of those awesome crunchy leaves.

photo of a leaf on a maple tree

photo of soldier's tower with red and gold trees in front of it

As anyone that has ever spent time at U of T can attest, October is a busy month. A month full of essays and exams and long days spent at the library. However, I’ve spent the last month off balance. I’ve thrown myself into my academics and thrown away the key, and haven’t given myself enough time to breathe.

photo of a gold tree and a yellow tree overlapping with a sparrow sitting in the middle

Academics are obviously important, but taking care of yourself is even more so. I thought that my answer to feeling overwhelmed was to spend even more of my time working, but in hindsight, that just left me feeling even more stressed out. With this realization, I decided to give up on editing my essay for the third time, grab my camera, and just give myself a break.

photo of a hart house window with a tree branch in front of it

photo of the path between hart house and queen's park

The “hidden” path from Hart House to Queen’s Park is one of my favourite places to go when I feel like I need to get away from the hustle and bustle for a few minutes.

The fall colours were the first thing I fell in love with about U of T, and I’ve found that there’s no better way to calm myself down than by taking a walk through campus and enjoying the shades of orange, red, and gold.

photo of the centre of queen's park surrounded by leaves

photo of the super cute squirrel who befriended me during my photo taking

If you’re feeling tired or stressed out, whether it be because you’re stuck on what word to use next in your essay, or because all that highlighting you’ve been doing in your chem book has given you a hand cramp, I encourage you to close up your laptop, zip up your bag, and take advantage of the wonderful winding paths that cross through campus and Queen’s Park. You might not feel like you have the extra 20 minutes to spare, but I promise you that you’ll come back to your work with more energy and less anxiety.

The Lester B. Pearson Garden for Peace and Understanding, behind Pratt library, not only holds the aforementioned waterfall, but is also decorated with beautiful greenery and tiny flowers.

The Lester B. Pearson Garden for Peace and Understanding, behind Pratt library, not only holds the aforementioned waterfall, but is also decorated with beautiful greenery and tiny flowers.

photo of the leaves of a japanese maple tree against the sky

If you want to check out the autumn colours for your self, check out the #HealthyUofT Leaf Walks! There are five maps of different 15-20 minute walks you can take through campus.

Good luck with all of your midterms! And please don’t forget to take care of yourself.

photo of the sunset behind robarts taken from back campus