Life @ U of T

Introduction

The Truth About Getting Better

The Truth About Getting Better

For the past ten weeks, I have learned and shared a lot about myself and ways to manage university. I have started my process with accessibility services, started counselling, attended workshops, learned how to avoid thinking traps and so much more. I shared a lot of tips that I told myself I would start applying to my everyday life, such as slowly exposing myself to scenarios to help manage my anxiety or planning my upcoming day.

The reality is, for the most part, I have not followed everything I have written about. That’s the reality of being busy and stressed with academics. This week, I’m unveiling the truth around the improvements in my well-being.

To start off, the journey to well-being and getting accessibility accommodations is not linear and is different to everyone. I have significantly improved since the beginning of the semester and have become more forgiving of myself. But, with the onset of exams, final projects, midterms, and managing daily life, I have fallen behind on self-care.

What I have managed

So far, I have been consistent with counselling, booking appointments with Health and Wellness, and attending workshops. These were the most challenging things for me since I have a habit of forgetting appointments or never going through with them. I have also learned to escape thinking traps more easily and understand how to not compare myself to others. This was a small improvement that allowed me to slowly improve my own mental health and understand my current situation.

Fish tank with three fish and a barrel decoration
Taking care of my fish helps me realize that I, too, need to take care of myself

My current struggles

I know my health and my needs come first. But when assignment deadlines are closing in and with exams so soon, I find myself concentrating solely on what I need to get done, and not what I should do in the long-run to benefit myself. I could spend more time in the morning planning my day to manage my time better, I could push myself to take transit at times that I usually don’t to help expose myself to situations that will eventually reduce my anxiety, and I could have submitted my accessibility services papers in much earlier. I could have done all of those things, but I kept telling myself things are okay and I can get through them. But now I know accessing resources is necessary in certain situations.

vine plant with large leafs in corner of room
Sometimes a little more lighting and watering can help a plant strive. Similarly, we also need to accommodate to our own needs.

How will I manage?

My journey has been both hard and rewarding. Getting help and reaching out takes a lot more time and willpower than I ever thought it would. It isn’t easy. I am learning that sometimes I need to sacrifice my academics to do better in my daily life. When the holiday break comes around, I want to start to implement more of the tricks I have learned so that I can start second semester using the knowledge I have gained. But I realize it won’t be perfect. Habits can be easily broken, and my hectic schedule will most likely come up again. I will be able to manage it a lot better as time goes on.

And that’s the truth of getting better.

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