I have been counting down the weeks of this semester since the first day of school! Back in January, when I was putting my calendar together, I thought to myself “wow, this is going to be a brutally long 14 weeks”. I remember looking at my calendar and just longing for the day I would say “I’ve only got a week left as a second year mechanical engineering student at the University of Toronto” and now being able to say these words is less than two weeks away!
Reflecting on how I started out the semester and how I’ve been able to turn in every assignment, quiz, lab and midterm just makes me see how amazing and capable we are as students. It has been quite a stressful semester, more than I had imagined, but I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! Not only are we ending another semester, we are ending a whole academic year (for those of us not taking summer classes, that is) and we definitely need to celebrate ourselves for getting through it all.
As I see the days coming closer to the end, I find myself slacking off a bit which shouldn’t be the case because I ought to finish up strong and not let the excitement about summer overtake my thoughts. Instead, I should use my excitement and longing for a break to get motivated because if I get good grades, I’d have a much better start to the summer!
To stay focused and reduce burnout, I’ve been focusing a lot on the present and setting short term goals for the week instead of worrying about what’s due at the end of the semester. I try to deal with different tasks as they come and ensuring I hand in the best work by focusing on one task at a time. Focusing on the present has helped me learn more about time management and prioritization. Additionally, doing this helps me take the stress off because I am jumping each hurdle at a time and at my own pace.
I’ve also revamped my weekends because I recognize that the lines between school and home have been seriously blurred and practically nonexistent at this point. I’ve found it useful to unwind during the weekends while still keeping it as productive as possible. I get outside and take a walk in the morning or I do grocery runs. I try to move my weekend away from using it as a time to catch up with work or study solely, but to my self care and achieving other important things in my life. Revamping my weekends has made me realize that every thing outside of academics should not be treated as optional, but as mandatory things we must do for our overall wellbeing.
Lastly, I’ve been trying to support my friends and sharing words of encouragement because I did not navigate this semester and academic year alone. It’s been a long ride but appreciating and supporting our friends and family is just as important!