I’ve been feeling a little-more-than-a-little subpar recently. I’m not sure if it’s the weather or a change in routine due to injury or just everyday stressors, but I don’t like to hang out in ruts like that. Last Friday served as a nice little pick me up, thankfully. I finally made it out to drop-in skating at the Varsity Centre!
I regret that I didn’t take pictures, I was consumed by how good it felt to be using my legs after making my arms so terribly sore at aerial silks. I’ve been less active recently and I think that might be contributing to my lousy mood. Skating with a good friend helped! I went on Friday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon and it served as a nice study break. Skate rentals are available for only $3.39 (debit/credit only) and entry is free with your T-Card of course! It wasn’t very populated, which I really appreciated. I definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you’re looking for some space to make some mistakes (I sure am!).
While keeping busy and staying as active as possible has helped keep my mind off of it to some extent, the academic struggle is very real my friends. We’re five weeks out from exams and I’m both excited…
…and terrified. Since the Jitsu Canada Ontario Provincials took place last weekend (an event I was sorry to miss this time around), I found myself reflecting on the similarities between preparing for competition and preparing for exams. There are quite a few! Personally, my strategy focuses on a handful of simple ideas:
- Doing the work. This is a no brainer of course. You simply don’t succeed in an exam without putting the hours in, nor do you win the match by dragging your feet in training. Not all preparation has to be so active, however, even in sport. Mental preparation, a good night’s sleep and a wholesome breakfast support the athlete and the mathlete. …did I just pun?
- Not cramming. I don’t know about you, but my brain isn’t so adept at processing massive amounts of information over the course of a short period of time — just like I’ll never become a good fighter overnight. My strategy here is preparing in advance, but also eventually letting my thoughts go. If I’m headed out the door to my exam, I’m not going to take my notes with me and cram more in on the way, I’m tuning out to my music. Same goes before a fight, nothing I can review in my head in that moment will help. If anything, the tension will hinder me.
- Having fun. I know what you’re thinking… how on earth? It’s no typo. I tend to take a moment in each of my exams to appreciate and enjoy all that I know and have learned, as opposed to dwelling on all that I don’t and haven’t. It’s not unusual to see me grin to myself at the end-of-term exam. It’s not unusual to see me grin when I’ve won a match either, but having fun throughout the day is what makes the difference. Taking things seriously consumes a whole lot of focus that could be better placed.
It seems so simple now, but as pressure sinks in — both on campus and on the mats — it all really does seem much less surmountable. Having said that, I have faith in us all! I’m sending good energy your way and wishing all of you the best of luck as we challenge the remainder of this term.
P.S. If you need a break (read as: when you need a break), consider an active break! Ironically, a great way to boost your energy can be to expend some. I’ll be making a habit of that at Varsity skating!