This past month has undoubtedly been one of the more strenuous months of my life thus far, and that probably goes for a lot of my fellow freshmen. Midterms hit me hard and have left me feeling absolutely exhausted. Even though mental wellness month just ended, I still think it’s important to make sure sure that I head into the second half of this fall semester with a healthy mindset.
We’ve all heard about how badly our averages will drop when we transition from high school to university, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it to strike so quickly. Now that midterms are over and marks are starting to be revealed, I find that I’m constantly reminding myself to stay calm, accept the result based, and try to the best of my ability to improve come finals. Seeing other people doing well in these exams hasn’t necessarily deterred me; rather, I’ve used it as another source of motivation. I’ve been mindful of minimizing negative thoughts.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that midyear exams at my high school versus midterms in university is akin to the contrast between peewee football and the NFL. The difficulty level of most of the questions has required a distinct adjustment in my problem-solving approach, one that I’m still in the process of making. I had heard all of the stories of how U of T was notoriously difficult compared to other universities, but I suppose it was a little bit of arrogance and procrastination on my part that led to the reality check.
Suffice to say, being a first-year student has been quite the rollercoaster ride – however, even just reading this back, I can tell that I won’t regret the decision to come here. Just a few exams into my post-secondary life, and I’m already noticing and making up for deficiencies in my tendencies that I would have never cared for back in high school. Academic life may be rigorous at U of T, but how it’s pushed me to strive for personal improvement, and the overall sense of community, truly make the effort worthwhile.
Thus far, I’ve found ways to obtain a healthy balance between work and play. For the most part, though, it’s been relegated to off-campus experiences. When I am on school grounds, I spend 99% of my time within a one-block radius of College and St. George. So, I haven’t truly gotten around to discovering the rest of what U of T’s St. George campus has to offer – something that I’m definitely looking to change in the near future.