This is my first year at U of T, and when I found out there was such a thing as January exams (not just at U of T but in Universities in general) I am not gonna lie my heart sunk a little bit. The feeling of happiness and achievement I felt when I finished my December exams was like no other, but after a few hours I realized that the worst had not yet come. It’s one thing to study for exams on my own time, but something completely different to travel to the other side of the world with a suitcase filled with heavy textbooks and two weeks to not only study (a lot) but also spend time with my family and loved ones.
Traveling back home was supposed to take only 14 hours, due to the time of the season and bad luck it ended up being a trip of over 34 hours. Like my father said when I finally got home “at least you had so much time to study, right?” well, the answer was no, all my notes, lectures, laptop and textbooks were in my checked bag. All this time in airports and planes made me remember how important time management is, and how I only had less than two weeks to study for these exams. I asked for a piece of paper and started planning out a studying schedule. I spent hours designing and creating a schedule which balanced all the chapters I had to go through and enough break time to spend with my family. Realistically, all I did was break my days into topics, I knew however that the hard part for me is never creating a plan but sticking to it.
Studying over break made me realize all the different ways I consider myself to be studying. I found myself explaining some topics to my younger sibling, or having discussions with my relatives about economic theories and how they are relevant to our country’s economy today. It was important for me to not get lost in the textbooks and lecture notes, but to find a balance between doing well academically and feeling well mentally by taking in and enjoying the people around me who I have missed for the past four months.
On my way back, after my first break from my very first semester at University ready to start again I made sure I learned from my mistake, and took pictures of my textbook word problems so I could work on them on the plane and while I waiting in the airport.
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